Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving the Company vision from cost to profit

Why is it so difficult for companies to get the treatment of the customer right? Maybe you need to get the company vision right.

First of all most companies are seeing their Customer Service department as a cost center not profit center. I am sure I am not alone when I have been in the situation that the company launches an new customer focused initiative where “we are really going to differentiate ourselves with the great service we provide” - as long as there are no added costs. Albeit not necessarily impossible for a company to improve their customer service without added costs – if you run a somewhat mature department the low-hanging fruit are all gone and you probably need to spend some, to make it happen.

Secondly, Customer service agent is regarded an entry level job (and I am sure if you work in Customer Service, you have seen how quickly the high performers are snatched up by other departments and you have to hire and train again). Of course it is great that Customer service agents can grow and develop in the company, but would it not be wonderful if the rest of the company did see CS as a valued and important link to the customers, gave them the credit and by that actually also improved the job satisfaction of the CS agent.

That is a big part of the issue. The CS agents are not proud and happy with what they do, after being told time and time again how low their job is – I see fine people doing a great job. And they are not proud of their job!!! I believe this is one of the first things that needs to be tackled – Make sure your agents are proud of what they are doing!!!

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