It is curious, when talking to business leaders, how infrequently the customer is mentioned. Many are the other issues – finance, production, suppliers, people (oh yes, people!) but not often the most important person, the customer. A wonderful friend of mine was the late Ray Wiltshire and his favourite target audience was Mrs Wiltshire. If he got it right for Mrs Wiltshire, then it was right.
In the end, the only real and sustainable advantage that the business can derive is the way in which we service the market.
For example, the only valid reason for restructuring the business is to improve the service to the customer. So often restructuring is justified on internal and frequently specious grounds which have no relevance to the customer or the market.
We need to ensure that in every decision, the level of service given to the customers is at the forefront of the decision making process, and on the basis of continuous improvement. It needs to be checked out by deciding on the level of service which you are currently giving, defining the level of service you would like to provide and then determine, with your team, what you need to do to achieve it - what resources are needed, what changes in people and/or systems are needed, and, most importantly, what changes in attitudes are needed.
Don’t make a judgement based on your opinion. Use your team to decide on how best to ensure that the level of service to the customer is the best that you and the business can possibly achieve. It starts with the way the telephone is answered and it never ends!
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