Customer Service: How to be a Very Important Person
Sometimes you might feel like a cog in a wheel. When you do, remember that being a cog isn't all that bad. The wheel wouldn't work very well if it was missing a cog or two. Still, it's nice to feel important as well. And as a customer service person, you really are. The role of customer service has been growing in importance and growing continually in recent times. Your importance grows with it. You are the frontline person. At one point or another, you and only you will be the person upon which a customer will base opinions and judgments about the organization, its products and services. Perhaps R. Michael Donovan says it best. At his management consulting service in Natick, Mass., Donovan is quoted as saying, "A lot of talk today is centered on quality, reengineering, continuous improvement and the like, but all of it must be aimed at customer satisfaction or it isn't worth anything over the long term." These are potent words, but you understand their meaning if anyone does. Donovan has a lot of suggestions for improving customer service. Among them: Listen and respond to what customers think of your company's service as opposed to that of competitors. And: Meet with others in the organization to find out what's working, what's not, and what action has to be taken. The ball's in your court.