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By Myles E. Makafui, Nov 17 2017 09:54AM

The happy customer is the money! - Every organization that wants to remain relevant in today’s

dynamic and extremely competitive business market should keep that at the center of all they

do.


Business has evolved and we are presently in the age of the customer, in a relationship-

management economy where the customer ultimately determines the direction of every

business. Every organization MUST become a customer-driven organization. Superior customer

service raises the level of customer retention, repeat business and customer advocacy, which are

vital if any business not only wants to survive but grow in a recession.


Today’s customers are more informed, more enlightened and have more choices. Therefore, in

today’s dynamic and highly competitive business market, organizations must strive to deliver

exceptional customer service to be in business. Therefore, today’s customers are not only

interested in the product they are being offered but all the additional elements of service that

they receive, from the greeting they receive when they enter your premises, to the help they

receive when they have a complaint.


It is also interesting to see how social media has influenced business. I recently stumbled on a

website called pissedcustomer.com, where customers who have experienced bad service can

share their experiences with the whole world. Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites

have created a perfect avenue for everyone to share their experiences as customers – for better

or worse! This development should put all service providers on their toes to ensure that

customer’s don’t ever take away a negative impression from any interaction with them.


Most Companies within every industry, offer very similar products and services, therefore it is

only superior customer service that can differentiate you and create a competitive advantage for

your organization. This is why making customer satisfaction an organization goal is simply not

good enough. The goal of every organization that seeks success that must be to go beyond the

expected, to wow the customer, to give the customer unforgettable experiences and make every

moment of interaction, a moment of magic!


Most organizations make very striking service promises to the public and these promises shape

customer’s expectations and give them certain specifics to look out for in every interaction with

these organizations. For instance, when a bank says ‘we are the one-customer bank’ or ‘saying

yes to your needs’ those are very strong service promises that have to be reinforced by

outrageous customer service delivery.


There are two major elements of customer service – personality and skill. It’s nice to possess the

skill, to know the greeting procedures, crisis management procedures, to have knowledge of

what to do at every given point in time. However, its personality that brings everything to life. It’s

our personalities as service providers that add value to our skills – it’s all about attitude. As


human beings, we are products of our environment and for some of us that have grew up in a

place like Lagos, we display a bit of aggressiveness and unfriendliness. It’s so bad that when we

meet people who are very nice, we become suspicious. The average person that grows up in such

an environment has little or no interpersonal skills. It is important to have the understanding that

every business with customers is in the ‘People’ business and therefore you must possess the

right attitude. It is not just about greeting but how you greet; it is about communicating the

willingness to help with every part of you.


There are basically tree kinds of attitude, positive, negative and neutral. However, being neutral

is being indifferent which is very negative and so your attitude is either positive or negative.

Attitude is not a gift, it’s a choice. We may not be able to tailor-make the situations in life, but we

can choose how to respond to them. In his book, ‘The seven habits of highly effective people’,

Stephen R. Covey talked about the law of proactivity. He said that people can be grouped in two

categories, reactive and proactive. Reactive people are affected by weather, when the weather is

good, they are good but when it is bad, it affects their mood. On the other hand, proactive

people carry their own weather. Reactive people are also affected by the social weather, when

people treat them well, they feel good, and else, they feel bad. No one can hurt you without your

permission and no one can take your happiness if you don’t give it to them. Between stimuli and

response, you have the ability to choose!


Wake up every day with a decision to give your best when interacting with customers.

It is also helps for service providers to adopt the policy that says ‘The Customer is always right!’

The above statement doesn’t means that customers are always right literally. Sometimes,

customers make some demands that are products of assumptions, wild imaginations and wishful

thinking. ‘The Customer is always right’ is a corporate cliché intended to give service providers

the consciousness that customers are the one that determine the direction of the business and

exhorts them to give top priority to customer delight.


There are three rules that helps guide service providers possess the right attitude when

interfacing with customers. The first rule is the golden rule which says, ‘Treat others the way you

want to be treated’. We are all customers and if we put ourselves in the shoes of the customer, it

will be easier to treat them well. As a basic human need, we all want to feel worthwhile,

respected, special and important. We don’t like to be ignored, or treated with disdain. If we do

some bit of introspection, it will help us relate better with our customers.


The second rule says, ‘Treat others the way they want to be treated’. It is important for us to go

beyond the basic customer needs and know our customer as individuals. We have to know their

needs, their concerns, their interests, their past experiences etc. This helps us pre-empt their

needs and serve them just exactly the way they want. Finally, if we aim is to wow the customer,

to leave the customer saying ‘Oh my God!’ and we definitely have to ‘Treat others the way they

don’t even know they ought to be treated’


Always remember, that the customer is the job, the customer is the money, and the customer is

the real boss. Keep making your customers happy and keep the service flag flying.


Myles E. Makafui


By guest, Nov 17 2017 09:52AM

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