Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Customer Service

Customer Service is neglected by most businesses. Some think that their customers are just B2B.
Everyone is a customer to anyone, including our children and our parents and friends. We are trying to sell ourselves everytime there is an interaction.

Some key points about customer service:
A) There must be passion about the work
B) There must be empowerment
C) There must be rewards and recognition
D) There must be involvement from management ( from CEO to toilet cleaner)
E) There must be feedback.

Employment of mature workers can be effective only with redesign of the job or that the product warrants a mature employee. Grooming, tone of voice and service language is sadly lacking. These qualities can be infused quickly only if managers devote more time in ensuring all employees go through a short course in appreciation of customer behaviour and trends.

Much money is spent on market research, buying franchises and renting of retail space.However, the best investment is in employee training in customer care. It does not matter if the business product is fibre optics to oil rigs and trendy handbags. There is a customer within and without, internally & externally.

The moment of truth turns magical when an employee establishes rapport and is fully aware of the customer's needs, aspiration or fears. We can achieve this magic. Managers are responsible to induct these skills from the top right down to every segment of their business. Its called passion and belief.

The obstacles are usually: what is the ROI? Well, imagine the ROI when you lose 15% of sales to your competitor who gains 15% recurring sales.. all from your base just because it is not important that your employee smiles and says hello with energy and passion.

All products do almost the same function: notebooks,air travel,telephony, spaghetti , pizza. What makes them different? and what tempts and beckons the customer to return?

Front end sales and image... pure allure of brand may not bring in the sales anymore.. but imagine if you combine great branding with great customer care!... pure magic!

AIA? Prudential? great brands.. but what about their customer service from the agents?.. yeah.. right!
Ronnie Eng

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