Treat your employees like your best customers
As cliché as the phrase “change is inevitable” may sound, the fact is, people change, their expectations change and their needs change. People don’t tell you that they are going to change, nor do they ask for your permission to change. Instead, they shift, and in most cases, companies only realise that a shift has happened after the fact.
Keeping up with who your customers are, what their needs are and knowing how their needs have evolved over time enables you to measure the effectiveness of your offers and develop strategies to reduce customer service problems and exceed customers’ expectations. However, research has shown that understanding customers’ needs is the new challenge for companies: “Forty-five percent of marketers say recruiting new customers is their biggest challenge, while 55 percent struggle to retain and upsell to current customers. Sixty-three percent of businesses report out-of-date customer information, while 63 percent also say their customer data is incomplete. Meanwhile, a further 60 percent admit to having hardly any data for certain customers. Seventy-three percent of companies view knowledge management as key to improving customer service and engagement, yet 27 percent of these companies don’t have a formal knowledge system in place.”
Quality customer service is the ability to create a climate of confidence, credibility and satisfaction for all parties in the “chain”. The same is true whether the relationship is with employee and employer, product concept and design, or manufacture and distribution. Customers are satisfied when their expectations, not yours, are met or exceeded. Many companies exhaust resources to satisfy external customers at the expense of internal customers.
However, having satisfied employees is the key contributor to a company’s success – especially through tough economic times.
Rl Miller, in an article “The Importance of Internal Customer Service”, stressed that great internal customer service increases employee satisfaction, lower employee acquisition costs and increase employee productivity and performance.
This reiterates the Japanese business model of putting employees first and reaping the benefits that cascade
Therefore, if your goal is to satisfy your external customers, you must start with treating your employees like your best customers. They know your customers better than you. Leverage your internal customer relationship to enhance your external customer relationship. To achieve total customer satisfaction, all levels of the company must be devoted to external customer satisfaction and work together to assist each other to achieve the common objective.
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