We've all heard it.
"Everyone in your company or organization who interacts with a customer or provides a product or service to a customer is in customer service."
The same is true for marketing. Or branding.
If you extend this to include everyone inside your organization who could impact the reputation of your organization; you pretty much include everyone.
Zappos starts everyone out in their call center. I read that WestJet expects employees and spouses flying for free or on discounts to help clean the plane.
Our Service Experience
Recently, our PenForms client support person was away for a few days. It happened to be just before the deadline for filing federal pension returns. This meant that the customers needed help fast.
One of our developers and I covered this function off. We even got a lot of positive feedback about the support we gave.
But this post is not about patting ourselves on the back. It is about what you can do for your organization.
There were two huge benefits:
- Client support experience, and
- Opportunities for improvement.
Client Support Experience
When you are in management or roles like product or software development it is easy to lose touch with the real needs of the customer. Some people even start getting annoyed by those pesky customers who keep interrupting my day.
By connecting directly with customers you are able to reaffirm your reason for being in business:
To serve the people we call customers or clients!
Without customers you don't have a business.
It serves your organization well for EVERYONE to be in touch with that.
Opportunities for Improvement
The other benefit is huge. The people who directly interact with the customers every day have certain tools, processes and ways of doing things. They often rely on other people in other departments to fulfill client requirements.
When outsiders to the role step in to help there are several powerful questions to be asked:
- How do you serve the customer right now? Why?
- How could you do it better?
- How can WE make it easier for YOU to serve the customer better?
You can't get this information sitting in a boardroom. You have to experience it firsthand.
You have to embrace it as an organization.
Everyone Is In Customer Service
Don't just say the words. Go do it!
Have people in every area of your organization see what it means to interact with customers directly.
You might not be able to train everyone to actually do all of the work, but they should at least see it firsthand. Participate where they can.
And not just once. On a regular basis.
Just do it! You will be better for it.