WHO COMES FIRST : CUSTOMER or YOU

  • Customer is the King . Ask any one who has had some exposure to formal college education or who has heard of ‘ Consumerism ‘ , he will surely say , Consumer always comes first
  • And yet you see what most organizations invariably do exactly the opposite – they are inwardly focused . They pursue their pre set financial goals , not customer needs , they are structured to suit internal admin logistics not aligned with serving customers , they produce what suits their abilities not customer needs & their use of technology is towards internal convenience and cost optimization , not for serving customer better ; it doesn’t make customer’s search or life easier
  • That is why the non – human way ( voice command operated , automated teleservice ) is increasingly becoming inhuman … may times you do not get across or have to hold on to it for long or you have to cross 6-7 levels of filtering commands , in the garb of guiding you …. It is actually a deterrent for the customer to continue . Many times you find that the option or issue of service you are seeking resolution for is not even listed in the menu . This is distancing from customers .
  • As if this ‘ distancing from customers ‘ was not good enough , I’m seeing a new trend of ‘ hiding from customers ‘ . The trend I see in at least 2 major service sector companies : One is a big ‘ Tel – Tel ‘ company in Telecom & another DTH company operating from the sky ; is to say tata to customers by closing down visible service centers . When earlier they had a physical presence in the form of service centers where customers had some recourse to issues and grievances have fast disappeared . In my recent experience when our telephone sustained follow up did was not responded to despite promises we did not know where to go , as even on company’s website there is no address , except the HO in Mumbai one can approach . Denying access to customers to me is a Cardinal sin , especially in the Service sector
  • In India most Organisations , in the name of customer service , serve own interest ; that is because they see themselves and customers as on two opposite sides , they suspect their customers — that is why they seek ‘ protective ‘ measures from customers & build a fortress wall around themselves . They see Organisaion’s interests & Customer interests as two & often clashing entities … that is why service standards in India are so pathetically below standard . In the end these organizations neither serve their customers well nor themselves .
  • If you ask me who comes first ; I’m very clear on the attention hierarchy , it is : Customer à Organisation à Employees . It’s always customers first , who are the reason businesses are created Hence it is the Organisation who needs to be aligned to serving customers & not the other way round . It is my conviction that there is no better way to serve organisation’s interest except via serving customer interest . The beauty is ( which most organizations and managements miss ) that if you are truly aligned with your customers , you will always be on your customer’s side & when both are on the same side , there are no two ( clashing ) sides to service ; there is only one cause left … the common cause of serving your customers . Those companies who have internalized this spirit have long sustaining & flourishing businesses , because they know no better way of conducting business . These respectable organizations do not chase business or numbers ; they only run with their customers because of which the business chases them .
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