Thursday, 7 December 2017

Time to Remove Client and Customer Service

It is time to overturn the concept of customer service.

It is time to do away with the idea of client service.

Further, our businesses need to stop recruiting (recycling) experienced customer interface people.

We can also abandon the pursuit of the great customer experience, the engaged member, the advocate and the promoter. All the buzz words and hot phrases used by marketers in meetings up and down the line can be eliminated. There are predominantly excuses anyway.

And then there is my favourite pet dislikes: partnering and mutual success.

“We don’t see you as a client, we see you as our partner” or “your success is our success”.

Why do I dislike these?

Has the entity purchasing the product or service ever entered in to the transaction saying they want a partnership? The seller of the product or service wants to sell something, and then do it again. The notion of a partnership suggests equal rights and this simply isn’t the case.  Hence Caveat Emptor.

As for your success and my success, I assess how successful I am by how much you and everyone else buys from me.

Let’s finish the job – lets remove the words and concepts of the customer and client from our business lexicon.   

Now we are making progress.

We no longer have a customer or a client, we no longer require the experienced customer/client servicer officer and that means their manager/leader is out too. There is a flow on impact to the recruiting industry who are kept busy as the previously referenced customer/client service officer was inclined to move on to a new employer every few years or so.

I hear the question coming loud and clear – We still have a product/service to sell and we need to look after those who buy it?

Yes, we do, but customer service as we currently practice it, is not the avenue.

Education isn’t either.

Increasing, we demand higher and higher educational levels for those on the front line. We have degree qualified employees, some with multiple degrees, dealing with basic questions of fact via the phone and internet based interfaces.

Some organisations even go so fare as promote the education levels of their staff as evidence of quality customer service, or use education to defend complaints when customers are dis-satisfied.

So, what am I proposing?

I am proposing an about face in terms of service and sales interface.

Instead of looking at the users of our services and products as clients, build a culture where everyone is a ‘person” to be communicated with by way of the courtesy and respect we should always apply to our dealings with people.

Further, we transform the staff we recruit to conduct these interfaces and place the absolute emphasis on their natural people and communication skills.

I have witnessed customer service training programs aimed at removing natural communication skills from those who are natural communicators. With this, we also lose flair and energy. I have seen highly scripted answer provided for staff to parrot repeat, word for word.

The natural communicator, the team member who enjoys talking to people will deliver the outcomes people want, need, enjoy and come back to, for more.

So much of what occurs in business is people to people. It should not be staff member to customer, or client service officer to client.

Recruit people who love communicating and remove sales training and pay them based on this ability and not the listing of letters after their name.

Moving on:

When there is a sale to be made, it establishes a contest and puts the person being sold to on edge.

Replace sales training with great recruiting of the correct people and arm them with the product and service benefits to be communicated in the individuals style.

Or to put it another way, let my PEOPLE to talk to the people who use our product, and let them do it as a person, talking to a person.

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