Be the client you would like to have
The topic of Customer Service seems to be trending on the Web at the moment, specifically the lack of it and how some companies are failing customers by treating them with little to no respect. In the current financial climate, you would expect businesses to be desperately clamouring for the approval of every customer, in the hopes that their client base will continue to be faithful to them when all around us longstanding businesses are dropping like flies. However, it seems that some companies are upsetting loyal customers by failing to offer them the courtesy and respect they deserve, whether it be a failure to deliver on time and with a smile, or simply offering better deals to new customers and leaving existing customers feeling undervalued.
Perhaps the people who meet customers, are feeling so under appreciated and overworked that they no longer present the helpful and friendly face of the company that their employer hired them to. With budget cuts and redundancies still affecting many companies, the fall of the axe could come at any time, and it can be difficult to motivate a workforce that feels the threat of unemployment bearing down.
A recent study by recruitment agency Reed suggests that, despite these uncertain times, more than a third of UK workers feel confident about getting a new job or a new contract in 2013, and just under three quarters of staff feel very secure or secure in their current job. Perhaps then, have some companies and their employees become complacent? Whatever the reason may be for this decline in Customer Service, it is certainly not going unnoticed, with consumers heading to Twitter, blogs, and for the lucky few, their own articles in national publications, to air their views on the companies that fall short on the service front.
But are we, as consumers, partly at fault? Think about your suppliers. You know, the people who provide your business with the things you need to be able to service your customers. Do you treat them with the respect that they deserve? Do you always pay them on time, or contact them immediately when you know that you will be late? Are you fair to your suppliers in negotiations or do you always try to argue a better deal for your business, even at the supplier’s expense? Treating your suppliers with loyalty and respect, rather than acting like David battling Goliath every time you make an order, will foster trust and build a good relationship between your business and your suppliers. Who knows, if you treat them with kindness perhaps they will do the same for you next time you need a small extension on your payment deadline, or you need your order a bit sooner than usual. Wouldn’t you do the same for your best clients?
Be the client you would like to have!
By Steve Knowles - More than 25 years in business and practice in the UK means that there is very little that I haven't seen before. But I also worked on your side of the pond and I have spent too many hours on planes and in airports. But the years haven't dulled my way of seeing an alternative view to everyone else, and everyday is a new adventure.