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“Quality in a service is not what you put into it. It is what the customers get out of it” – Peter Drucker.
Sometimes companies have new policies they wish to enforce, more often than not, they go about it the wrong way. The wrong process can lead to the dissatisfaction of the customers and employees alike, which, in turn, affects the company in a negative way. Such effects can include losing employees, sales, and even long-time customers.
These consequences most often occur when employers make policies which they refuse to amend or change after repeated complaints and pleas from all parties concerned.
As an employer, you mustn’t hide behind your policies, especially when they get in the way of exceptional customer service. Whatever policies or procedures you design, they must be able to satisfy everyone, including the customers, employees, and the company itself.
When policies and procedures garner the satisfaction of all parties involved, healthy growth and satisfaction will occur as a result. This is due to a build-up of confidence, emotional engagement, and trust. In the long run, everyone will be happy about it.
The confidence, trust, and emotional engagement of both employees and customers will erode with time when you don’t consider their input. Repeated complaints or concerns should be addressed with urgency, and policies can be changed to agree with everyone’s needs.
As an employer or a company, it’s important to note that your customers are the reason why you are in business; without them, your business will go under. You may think that your customers are only those who come in to buy your products or services, but they also include every employee working for you.
When these customers are dissatisfied or forced to endure a policy that doesn’t bode well with external or internal customers, the situation calls for some serious consideration so that everyone is happy in the end.
For instance, have you ever worked in a company where you are made to enforce a policy that doesn’t feel right to you? You probably weren’t comfortable when a customer made mention of the unfairness of the policy and were likely made even more uncomfortable when the manager became rude with the customer as a result.
I bet that as an employee of such an organization, you will never feel happy about a situation like that. Not only will your confidence and trust in the company diminish, but your emotional engagement with the customer can be dealt a heavy blow. Such a company couldn’t possibly earn your trust or dedication, nor that of the customers.
Let’s look at it from the customer’s angle. How do you think customers feel when they hear phrases like “that’s our policy”? Does this inspire confidence, trust, and emotional engagement? Does it seem like the company has factored in specific situations and experiences and human experience? The answer is visible enough.
By insisting on a policy that does no good to the customer but only favours the company, the organization is passing an indirect message that the customers are not as valued as they should be, and the business isn’t customer-service oriented.
Some employers in their defense make statements like, “if I do it for you, then I will have to do it for others as well.” This statement poses different questions. The first is that is it such a bad thing to do the same for everyone? If several customers are clamoring for change within a specific policy, it is wise to examine the policy and consider a change. The overwhelming voice of the masses should not be ignored, especially when the masses determine your business’s overall success – that is not to say one voice cannot carry strong reasoning as well.
Another question that comes to mind is, “why should you assume that everyone else will want or need the same thing?” This is why it’s so important to listen to your customers. The situation doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” event but rather should inspire greater flexibility within your policies and your business as a whole. Nothing should be set in stone; make adjustments and changes based on the human experience, back to alignment of the company mission statement or core values.
As an employer, a company or brand, you have to make policies that accommodate everyone as much as possible, as people want to do business with other people and not with a faceless entity. It’s best to empower your employees to think for themselves, with the mindset that everything they do, every decision they make, must be in the best interest of the employees, the customers, and the organization or company. This way, everyone is happy and satisfied.
Aim for three out of three or at worse settle for two out of three; you can’t get it wrong this way. Always remember that it takes time to acquire one customer but only a second to lose that same customer. Your company’s policies and rules should not hinder exceptional customer service, but rather should be made flexible to accommodate everyone involved.
The business world is hungry; lions and vultures are waiting to pounce at the slightest sign of weakness. No business wants to lose its customers, but rest assured that even the most loyal customers will leave when they are no longer satisfied with the services they are getting.
Paying attention to your customers’ needs and meeting their demands is a sure way to keep the business growing. While it’s true you can’t appeal to everyone, as humans by nature are insatiable, you can try to create a flow that keeps most people happy and satisfied.
The Bottom Line
Listening to your customers and employees is the best thing you can do to ensure policies don’t hinder growth or customer service. Pay attention to trends in complaints or concerns, and be sure to address anything that causes customers or employees to disengage with the brand. My mum use to say, “be more concerned when people aren’t giving you feedback, it’s another way of showing they just don’t care enough to do otherwise.”
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About the author: Kyle Kalloo is the Chief Executive Officer and Business Coach with Change My Life Coaching, Co-Founder of Change My Business Coaching and creator of the Get Profitable, Get Productive (GP2) Business Success System. Through his management training and experience with McDonalds, Famous Players (Paramount) and WestJet, and with the ongoing learning and development he’s completed, Kyle has refined and perfected business success skills. He is eager to share how to execute them efficiently to help individuals and companies achieve even more of their dreams and create lasting change. 83% of Kyle’s business comes from referrals.