July 18, 2012
Service is a simple concept that involves every employee in the organization. Good service is only as good as your customers believe it to be. Customer perception is all that really matters. No matter how wonderful the company’s customer service motto sounds, in the end, the ultimate reality is how the customers feel about the way they were treated. When customers feel they’ve been treated well, they’ll be happy and continue to do business with the organization. If customers feel they’ve been treated poorly, they’ll be unhappy, and tell everyone they know.Everyone in your organization is part of a customer service chain. No matter what your role, you are providing service for other people. They may be internal customers, such as employees in your department or employees working in a different division of the organization. The employees you serve may also serve only internal customers. But eventually, the chain will reach the external customers.Delivering a high level of customer satisfaction relates to everything that anyone in the organization does. Customer service is everyone’s responsibility. It doesn’t matter whether you work in information technology, purchasing, legal, accounting, human resources, the warehouse, executive operations or any other area–you are a customer service professional.An organization-wide customer service approach is important because your customers perceive the company as a whole. When problems occur, your customers do not say, “Well, a staff member in the public relations department messed up.” They say, “The XYZ Company messed up!”Instead of pigeonholing customer service into a single department, it is far more effective for every employee in every department to do his or her part in the customer service effort. In fact, maybe every department should be called Customer Service.No matter what your industry, no matter what your job title, you work for the customer. No customer calls or walks in your door and says, “What can I do for the XYZ Company today?” They are asking, “What can XYZ do for me today?”Customers can tell when the whole organization is service-oriented. Customer service no longer means how fast you answer the phone. It means quality products, on-time delivery, responsiveness to complaints, after-sale support, accurate billing, clear communications and everything else. These goals can only be achieved with a total service commitment by every employee on the customer service chain.After all, they call it “service” for a reason.