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Do you have a Customer Service Culture in your organization?

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Think business is good now? Imagine how better it could get if you were to develop a customer service culture within your organization? If you start by hiring customer-oriented people, invest frequently in training and treat them the way you want them to treat customers.

Many organizations claim to be customer centric but experience shows that not many are willing and equipped to “walk the walk” when it comes to delivering the kind of service that wins a customer over for life. The iconic Richard Branson had this to say about how making employees the top priority can bring benefits for both customers and investors “If the person who works at your company is not appreciated, they are not going to do things with a smile,” Branson says. By not treating employees well, companies risk losing customers over bad service. To this end, Branson says he has made sure that Virgin prioritizes employees first, customers second, and shareholders third.

Recently I visited a financial institution a few minutes before my appointment, announced my arrival to an employee and was asked to hold on. As I waited for an unreasonable amount of time, my thought shifted from wanting to do further business with the institution to wanting to reduce the business I was doing with them.

Eventually an employee announced my name, walked back to his office with me, sat down and began typing. After having to wait another two minutes he raised his head and asked “how can I help you today?” There was no acknowledgement or apology instead, his actions echoed “you want our service so you just have to wait.” I expressed my new intention and proceeded to reduce my investment.

Customer Xcellence Magazine in an article titled “Why Customer Centricity? Because the Opposite is a Disease” gives a simplistic example of how a disease behaves: It spreads, it gets worse over time and it morphs into more sub diseases that become harder and harder to treat. The same can be said about poor customer services. Unless it is detected early it will deteriorate like a disease and eventually destroy your business. “It takes months to find a customer…seconds to lose one.” Vince Lombardi

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