What’s with the perception that the service vocation does matter that much?
Sadly, most service managers opine that their role is viewed as just as sumptuous and somewhat trivial affair and not a core business venture that contributes to the bottom line.
These are some of the frustrations echoed by those in the client service or customer experience (CX) environment. I must admit that at some point in my career, I also felt the barrage of these uncomfortable discernments first-hand. Still fresh in my memory is how colleagues in client services and marketing would from time to time be the butt of quite coarse jokes from co-workers in other functions. They were clearly misguided due to lack of appreciation of the service role itself (the guys who deal with queries and complaints). But it was not all gloom because some appreciated the impact and strategic importance of the service role. Their understanding and appreciation added to the total currency of a healthy, working and balanced ecosystem.
Let’s face the fact: It is indeed incautious to relegate customer service or CX to something inferior and unimportant. It is unforgivable and illogical to label service managers children of a lesser God in an organisation. If that is the case in any organisation or at the one you work for, then news flash, you are clearly behind the curve in appreciation of the significance of the service role and the value that your customers bring to your organisation!
The culture needs to change. You should therefore meld customer service and CX into all the aspects of the organisation so that everyone comes on board. A shift in culture needs to take place, drastic measures introduced, and thorough change management injected into everyone’s DNA in the organisation followed by consequence management for those who refuse to co-exist with the new vision. This needs to be done for the customer’s sake because the customer is a critical stakeholder. As stated in last week’s article, any business entity exists to serve customers and delivery of exceptional service is not ephemeral but must be held in high regard if the very business is to remain standing.
It does not matter the size of the entity – customer perceptions and voice have the power to make or break any business. It is even more toxic today, through social media where a few clicks on the keyboard can do the most damage. Researchers, scholars, industry captains have said it a million times over that if you aim to attain a competitive edge only through your products and service, remember that your competitive edge can evaporate in an instant because these can be duplicated easily. But aspects such as robust service organisational DNA, people’s bespoke attitudes about service, the discipline of superior service espoused by all and lived through action by everyone all the way to the chief executive, documented evidence has proven that organisations with these outperform their competitors and have longevity in the marketplace.
Sagacious managers have turned businesses around to become bigger entities through focusing only on customer experience as the zenith of their strategy. The modern-day customer is spoilt for choice, and like it not, customers are also more vocal than before and more mercurial. So we had better get the softer side of business right if we are to mollify our customers. They are the kings and the queens that we need to treat with respect. We don’t have a choice but to kibosh the perception that customer service is not that important. If you are still thinking like that, maybe you should put yourself in your customer’s shoes and then tell us how you would react if a visit to your service provider turned awry.
Yep, you know that feeling. Therefore, whatever you do don’t do, don’t let a customer feel that way because of you. The softer stuff also does matter. So let us regard customer service or CX with respect as testament to the value we place on our customers.
LinkedIn: Gomolemo Kololo Manake