Dear Mr. Tan,
I was reading your blog entry titled: Excellent Customer Service. I also understand that you used to communicate with customers directly when you were a CEO, is that what you mean by being "accessible"?
I can't figure out the rationale behind needing to have top people who are accessible to customers. Personally, as a buyer of a service or product, I do not really care about who solved my problems when they arise, I do not go directly to the highest level but work my way up until my problems are fixed. So if an organisation is able to hire and train good customer service officers, I do not see the need to have access to the top people.
I must say though, to have a very good customer service team is not easy. As a customer or shareholder of a company, I don't think it's a good idea to have the top people handling customers, as I think the cost will have to be passed on somehow, either to the customer or the organisation's bottom line will suffer. I hope and would appreciate if you could enlighten me.
Most customers have their issues solved at the lower levels. Only a small number of cases go to the top. Some customers write an email to me (3 to 5 per day). It was quite easy for me to handle them.
I give them an immediate reply (usually a partial reply) and forward the issue to the right people to handle it. It worked quite well.
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