Customers are your silent business partners

Three phone service providers already, great thing! So, more choices are available now, but is having more equal to better customer service? Honestly, I am not quick to get excited, at least not yet. It’s not enough to make the best widgets, the cheapest clothes, the highest quality components or provide the world’s finest customer care service as judged by a panel of international experts.

Three phone service providers already, great thing! So, more choices are available now, but is having more equal to better customer service? Honestly, I am not quick to get excited, at least not yet.

It’s not enough to make the best widgets, the cheapest clothes, the highest quality components or provide the world’s finest customer care service as judged by a panel of international experts.

You can do as many social cooperate responsibility outreaches and service promotions as possible but if the customers don’t like your product or service, it’s no good. It’s that simple.

Every business has many “silent partners.” They’re usually called “clients” or “customers.” These people have a vested interest in your business success.

The more successful your business is the more they’ll benefit. This implies that you’ll continue in business because your customer service and product quality will improve hence outshining your competitors.

Your success is as good as your customers. That’s why business must depend on customers to tell you “how well your staff is performing.”

Think about it; keeping customers satisfied isn’t only a matter of providing quality products and services. It’s also a matter of how they’re treated, how comfortable they are dealing with employers, how effectively their needs are satisfied, how promptly you respond to them and how much they feel that you value their support.

It’s absurd that we are getting so used to sub-standard service care as Rwandans. Rarely are customers views directly asked until something goes wrong. It’s not until a customer furiously complains that something gets done. At this point, it’s already too late.

Even when the service provider receives a complaint, their immediate response is to want to “fix the problem” and get the customer “back inside.” Hardly do they ask the customer what they expect, but how the service provider could have done better.

Behind those pretty and handsome faces, it’s most important that you know what employees do right as well as what they do wrong. Its wise for any employer to want to retain the “do rights” while eliminating the “do wrongs”.

And you also want to discover whether your “do rights” match those of the customer. Waiting for a string of complaints when something goes wrong before taking action will frustrate the customer and confuse any employee.

If you want feedback from customers about staff performance, you must be very clear about what you expect from your staff.

You need specific and measurable performance standards. And you need a system that enables customers to provide feedback.

Stop and think for a moment about those who have the biggest influence on your business prospects. It’s not your bank manager, shareholders or donors; it’s your customers. If you fail to meet their expectations you’re in trouble and, whether those expectations are met depends largely on your staff.

It’s unusual to regard customers as effective staff performance monitors, but when you do; they are the perfect auditors of your business.

Emmanuel Nyagapfizi is a regular contributor to The New Times

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