It is the foundation of your business.
Without your customers, you don’t have a business. It is that simple.
So how is it that this area of all industries is so often an afterthought in a business model or an ‘oh sh%t’ moment with so many.
Customer Service teams in many places are treated as lowly staff. It is seen as an outsource opportunity or a cost to be optimised or cut if margin is getting tight.
I don’t know how many customer service team members tell me they are treated as the least important and quite often treated poorly.
These people are those that touch your customers, sometimes literally. It is seen as a role for those that have little experience or few qualifications.
Customer Service requires empathy, thinking on your feet, solving problems with almost no resources at your disposal, a calm demeanour, ability to take abuse without cracking, being able to read people (often over the phone) and much more. You need a tough skin with a soft centre. You need to care.
Giving your Customer service team limiting scripts, no power, treating them like cr@p and then expecting them to put a smile on their face and treat others well is a hard task.
But so many, every day, do a sterling job. They do it because they care. They try their best because when they are dealing with someone angry or in pain, their humanity drives them to try and help.
Are you taking advantage of that in your people? Are you lucky that your customer service is as good as it is or have you intentionally empowered your team and treat them well, pay them fairly? See them not as 2nd class citizens but fundamental to your business.
How have you costed your Customer Service team in your budgets? As a marketing spend and fundamental team or with the smallest amount you feel you can get away with? Have you costed your product to include the customer service you need to deliver?
You can often find ways to include Customer Service as a delivery entity that makes you money, not a cost. Have you tried?
These people are as close to your customer and have the chance of finding opportunities for you. They can be the voice of your customer to improve your products and services. How often do you include them in your product management cycles?
As I say, they are fundamental.
Happy customer = increased revenue
Satisfied customers at least gives your business a reason to exist
Without customers you have no business, with bad or non-existent customer service you have no customers.
You do the maths…