After each training session, I often spend a lot of time analyzing participants’ evaluation forms as this helps me improve on future trainings. Last month, I read this from a participant:
“This is the best training I have ever attended and I wish my managers and all our supervisors could also go through what we’ve just learnt. I now understand the importance and benefits of customer care for myself and for my company.
But for a real impact on our services, I would kindly request that our managers and supervisors attend the same course because Customer Service should start by them first then cascaded down to every person working in our company.
If our managers and supervisors portray the good example of customer care, I’m sure many employees will do the same”
This is a regular comment from participants. The first message I see here is the need for every staff to understand the importance of good customer care.
Customer care is not a department but rather the daily attitudes of each staff and everyone needs to be involved.
The second message is that customer service has to start from the bottom down to the most inferior person in the organization.
Managers and business owners need to portray good attitudes themselves to be an example for their team members.
Unfortunately in many organizations, there is often a huge gap between what management says and what they actually do. Many managers forget that the most important person in their organization is the customer.
A participant gave an example whereby when the manager calls, she has to run and see him even if she has customers in front of her. Apparently, the manager can’t be put on hold.
Even though I do not want to believe this entirely, this type of managerial behaviors calls for reflection because poor service is sometimes the fault of management.
Management is responsible for instilling a customer service culture
The basic problem in most companies is that people are not made the center of the organizations. Many business owners spend huge amount of money on equipment and systems but nothing much on their staff.
Steve Jobs, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Apples Inc says that “The people who are doing the work are the moving force behind the Macintosh. My job is to create a space for them, to clear out the rest of the organization and keep it at bay”
As a manager, you need to bring every one on board in terms on quality and customer service. You need to create a positive working environment that promotes good customer service attitudes.
Management should be the first to portray good Customer Care attitudes
John C. Maxwell says that “A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Do you show the good example to your staff? Are they able to see through your daily attitudes how customers should be treated? Are your behaviors the ones you want your team members to portray to customers? Can your people learn from you? Do you do what you preach?
Harold S. Genen says that “Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions” Let your actions speak for you.
Management should treat staff with Care
As a manager, always remember that your people are your greatest assets. So invest in them. Relate with them positively. Be close to them. Show them empathy. If your staff is being well taken care of, they will definitely do the same towards your customers.
“Pay your people the least possible and you’ll get from them the same.” Malcolm S. Forbes. If you invest in your staff peanuts, your customers will reap the same.
Treat your people with respect and dignity. “You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management says also Howard Schultz, Chairman and CEO of Starbucks.
As a manager, learn to listen also to your junior staff. They are in permanent contact with customers and have more accurate feedback from them.
Once in a while, just spend some time with them without any formal meeting and you will be surprised to hear amazing things on your business.
Management should also take sanctions
A good manager is also the one who knows when and how to take sanctions when things go wrong. If you accept mediocrity from your team members because you want them to like you, you are surely to be blamed for poor customer service in your organization. Be responsible and let your staff understand that you will not tolerate poor customer service.
A good management is nothing more than motivating ordinary people in doing extraordinary things.
Be a motivation to your team members and together, you can achieve good customer service for your own benefit and for the satisfaction of your customers.
The author is a customer service consultant working in Rwanda