This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Graham Frost writes about how every manager in every company is responsible for customer service. I especially like the Sam Walton quote he shares. – Shep Hyken I once knew a manager who had been promoted to a senior position within his company. We were having a […]
This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post, my colleague Graham Frost writes about how every manager in every company is responsible for customer service. I especially like the Sam Walton quote he shares. – Shep Hyken
I once knew a manager who had been promoted to a senior position within his company. We were having a chat about customer service standards, and he interrupted me with the line
‘Well, I don’t really have any responsibility for customer service now I am in head office…’
I told him that in my view, everyone in every organisation has a responsibility for customer service. A former CEO that I worked under used the Sam Walton (founder of Wal-Mart) quote a lot: ‘If you are not serving a customer, you need to be serving someone who is’.
So, head office managers, are you putting standards and behaviours in place that facilitate great customer service at the front end of your business, or are you destroying your customer experience by introducing ridiculous corporate rules to make your own life easier?
I once worked with a manager who was fond of setting unachievable service standards. His response, when I challenged him on the effect his ideas would have on the front line people and customers was ‘They’ll get used to it’. Well, on this particular occasion the introduction of an unachievable standard led to the loss of several experienced people and to a reduction in customer satisfaction. The decision was eventually reversed, but not until after the damage was done.
On another occasion I was visiting a colleague in the I.T. support tem when his phone rang. It was a member of the front line team at one of our retail stores who was having problems with the cash till. All that my colleague needed to do was log in to the machine remotely and solve the problem. However, he had just had a call from a senior manager who had a problem with his laptop, and he decided to fix that first. That company had a core value ‘Great Customer Service’, but this was not translated into real actions. If my colleague had really been a ‘Customer Service Manager’ he would have focused on the problem that was nearest to the customer first.
So, when you are confronted by a situation at work, do you think ‘customer’ first? When I worked for a railway company in the U.K. during the 1990s and early 2000s, we had some great role models. Our CEO was totally customer focused. One day a busy train with over 600 passengers on board broke down on York station and the customers and their luggage had to be transferred to another train on a different platform. The CEO was in a meeting in the headquarters building a few hundred yards away when the situation was brought to his attention. He adjourned the meeting and brought his fellow Directors and senior managers to the station to help the front line team to transfer the customers to the new train. This set the standard very high. I was working as a trainer, and immediately recognised that if the CEO of the company and his team put such a great emphasis on customer service, everyone else would do so too.
How much of a gap is there in your organisation between what you say and what you do? How aligned are your support functions? Do people in Finance, Marketing. H.R. and I.T. teams understand how they fit in to your customer service vision?
Graham Frost is a Customer Service and Employee Engagement Specialist based in the U.K. He spent over twenty years in the front line as a team member and leader before moving into training during the 1990s. Graham believes that the role of a manager is to provide the practical and emotional resources to enable their team to be the best that they can be. His new book ‘How To Be A Great Customer Service Manager’ will be available soon.
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Sign up for instant access to Shep’s research report on customer service and customer experience.
"*" indicates required fields
© 2023 Shepard Presentations, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Legal Information | Sitemap | Site by: digitalONDA
Legal Information | Sitemap Legap
Site by: digitalONDA