So, do you company policies serve your customer’s needs? I read a phrase in an SBA (Small Business Administration) post titled Marketing 101 that struck a nerve, “All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.” Most of my career has been in sales and marketing. Customer service hasn’t only been important to me; it’s been critical to my success. A few years ago, as operations manager of an organization, I was able to apply my beliefs in customer service companywide. The team embraced customer service, and we won the BBB (Better Business Bureau) Torch Award for four consecutive years. Still, the truth is, even then, not every policy was geared entirely toward customer satisfaction.
Do your Company Policies Serve Your Customer’s Needs?
What Gets in the Way of Satisfying Customers?
When individuals or departments place themselves above the whole, they create silos. When segments of the organization believe they’re more important than the entire team, customers become second or third fiddle. How to Demolish Silos and why You Should.
Improving profit margins by reducing product quality places company procedures above client needs. Don’t get me wrong, the bottom line is critical. It’s how folks stay in business. However, improve the bottom line by pricing correctly and being more efficient, not by offering inferior products.
Most businesses have done it because they wanted to win a contract. But in the long run, it can hurt an organization more than it helps. When a company over-promises and under-delivers, it places the relationship with that customer in jeopardy and tarnishes the business’s reputation.
Not Understanding the Significance of Customer Service
If we asked C-staff, sales, marketing, and customer service the importance of serving the customer, they’d most likely all have a good understanding of its urgency, but do all employees? Do production, installation, and shipping understand that every action they take should begin with asking, “How does this serve our customer?” Does the entire organization realize that they wouldn’t have a job without customers?
Lack of Accountability
When a business allows employees to circumvent procedures, break policies, and disrupt systems, they pass the results on to the customer through inferior products, lack of follow-up, poor service, price increases, and sometimes all the above! The customer feels the pain of poor management.
Lack of Consistent Training
Without systems and procedures in place, continuously trained, and followed, the results will be inconsistent at best. If an organization is not striving for continuous improvement, they’re not serving their customers to the best of their abilities.
Do You Serve Your Customer’s Needs or Your Own?
So, do you serve your customer’s needs or your own? I mentioned earlier my commitment to serving customers, but even so, the companies I managed made all the mistakes listed above at one time or another. Creating policies to help your customers is only the beginning. Those procedures must be continually trained, held accountable, reviewed, and improved. If not, your company will come before customers, and eventually, you’ll have no customers to come before.
How Can I Help You?
I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me.
Does your business have a management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook, a crash course in effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program. Check it out.