A lot has been said about patriotism, socialism and cultural synthesis but very little has ever been said about customer service. At the heart of everything we do is customer service. The business of life is that life is a business, so a business is only relevant because it meets the need of a special person, the customer.
Customer service is very important because it enables an organisation to be able to fulfil its purpose. It will be important if every person considers himself a service provider. On a lighter note everyone has a customer including the pastor, whose customers are the church members. The frequency with which church members come to church reflects how they rate the service delivery of the Pastor. Strictly speaking, the Pastor is an entrepreneur of hope. If a customer offers hopeful messages, congregants will patronise that church.
The business person is a factor of production who undertakes a risk in order to earn a profit. In order for the business person to enjoy the benefits of his entrepreneurial acumen, he has to make sure that what he is trading in has an interested person, known as a customer. All factors of production are practically aimed at meeting the needs of the customer. This underlines the importance of customer service in each and every business. Without customers, no business has any business being in business. The customer is the purpose of the business, everything else is secondary or complimentary.
Now that we agree that customers are the very purpose of each and every business, we need to ensure that we offer them the level of respect which they deserve. Sadly a lot of people do not know that businesses exist because customers are willing to buy their products or service, as may be applicable. Most businesses treat the customer as an unwanted intruder. In many places I have seen staff members chat while customer queues are running haywire. This is totally unacceptable, as it violates the very purpose of being in business.
The culture of good customer service does not happen automatically, it has to be well thought out and cascaded to all customers facing staff. Failure to have a sound customer service strategy is tantamount to corporate abuse and customer sabotage.
I happen to be a certified customer service practitioner and my heart bleeds as l see the corporate sector lording it over us the ‘helpless’ customers, as they continuously show us who the real boss is but that is the tragedy of ignorance. Where purpose is not known abuse becomes a norm. Our nation is a nation of extraordinary citizens who never complain to service providers, particularly for some sub-standard services being peddled by uncaring corporate giants.
However it takes a big picture thinker to realise that customers are the core purpose of a business. They may not say a lot of words as they are at the receiving end of some not so pleasant service providers, but they will certainly act one day by voting with their feet, thereby never patronising the arrogant corporate world, which does not render honour where it is due. Such businesses will suffer some ignominy closures and blame the economy for their not so exciting fate, but the truth is that they need to have some self-introspection.
Customers are not a problem; they are a solution to your being jobless. It is vital to ensure that you retain them. In order to do so, it may help you to recognise that customers can be classified according to their belief patterns. These include but are not limited to the following, the traditionalists, who are quite elderly and very conservative with information. They need a lot of tact for you to unlock their centres of influence. There is also a generation known as baby boomers which is thriving financially by reason of having made sound decisions in their early years of life.
So these ones practically demand to be honoured in public and be treated as a special group, because most of the rich folk are in this group. There is a third generation, X, whose core focus is relationships and information transimission.They love to hear the details of what is happening concerning their issues or transactions. They are notorious for leaving quietly with a smile if they do not seem to see any meaningful progress. There is also a generation Y, which thrives on technological excellence and thus the love for the cyber world and product innovation.
All these customers are looking for one thing, excellence, they are looking for excellence in service delivery. If they get service delivery at expected levels they will bring your organisation plenty of revenue, networks and relationships. It is therefore incumbent upon you to raise the bar in customer service, so that you become the go-to guy. Customer service does matter because it is the vehicle through which a business fulfils its purpose.