20 Years Of Yelling and Organizational Knowledge

April 13, 2010

Do you have a front line workhorse toiling away in your organization? Most of us do.

Whatever their title, or wherever they may be in the organizational chart, that he or she is the go to person in many businesses.

Think of that experience! Think of all the details they know about what really happens in your organization!

And now he or she is leaving.

This scenario is happening right now in a friends organization. In this case, that go to person was in customer service, and now she is retiring.

Being the face of that businesses customer service department, it may not have been daily, but frequently she bore the brunt of dissatisfied customers.

And Technology?

I know, you are asking where am I going with this!

But I see two things that many small to medium businesses often overlook when it comes to their customer service teams.

First, Looking Outside Your Walls

Your customer service teams have to deal with dissatisfied customers, that is a given; But what did you do to reduce that dissatisfaction?

We already know that no matter how we wish for perfect customer satisfaction, all day, every day, that is probably an unreasonable expectation. There will always be someone who is dissatisfied. Customers can be dissatisfied because the product or service did not truly meet their needs.

And finally, the biggies; dissatisfaction can occur if customers are not aware of, or don’t know about certain constraints with your product or service, or because they could not understand something.

As an example, consider that customers who purchased high definition television sets report being dissatisfied because they were not aware that to get the full benefit, they have to have high definition compatible services and devices from their regional cable or satellite television provider.

So during the 20 year tenure of your go to customer service individual, have you tracked the issues that they have been dealing with? Are there common refrains that you could have avoided by placing frequently asked questions on your web site?

Then, Inside your walls

Are you collecting information to learn?

During those 20 years of customer service calls, did you actively document them?

Did you look for broad themes that could drive improvements to your product or service? If you received the same complaint multiple times, don’t you think there might be something to learn from?

There is an old saying.

If one man calls you a horses ass. Ignore him.

If two men call you a horses ass. Think about it.

If three men call you a horses ass. Buy yourself a saddle.

Are You Learning?

Photo credit neoporcupine via flickr

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