What is so special about humans that they are constantly prospering? Innovation, discoveries and development is touching new heights. What is the reason behind this evolution? Yes, biologically we have bigger brain/body ratio than animal kingdom. However, what are we doing with the bigger brains that are helping us to prosper?
Well, I think the major reason is the ability of humans to serve each other.
Let us take a helicopter view of our social and commercial set-up. Only those families, tribes and communities prosper who have learnt to serve each other. History proves this fact. Similarly, from commercial aspect everyone (employed/self employed) receives units of currency in return of services they offer. The value of service is determined by the supply/demand of service providers, service differentiation, consumer experience, consumer satisfaction and so on.
It is quite disappointing that commercial world still has a narrow view about services. Many Businesses still consider customer service as call centre of some sort where customers make complains. It is a very narrow and disappointing view.
I think, Customer service is end-to-end experience of the customer dealing with your Business entity. It includes (but not limited) to marketing, sales and operations. For example, marketing should serve customers by help them understand your product/service, problem that your offering will solve. Sales should be about serving customer to ensure a ‘win-win’ deal. Operations should take customer to the journey of using the product/service. It should be about serving customer needs of training and change. It should be about clear communication of ‘what to expect?’ It should be about holding customer’s hand and leading him through the change. It does not matter if customer is buying a vacuum cleaner or ERP software. The importance of Customer service does not change.
Every business should think, plan and execute Customer service processes.
Let us talk about a great consumer brand, Apple! What is so special about Apple? Why they are so successful? I think, it is not just because they offer great products (many others offer better products at cheaper price). Their success factor is mastery over Customer service. Their marketing connects with you, it touches your senses, it tells story about the product and how it is going to solve your problem. From sales aspect, Apple serves customers by offering consistent price, irrespective of the retail outlet from where you buy. There is no headache of big negotiations or comparing price difference among retailers. Think about Apple store now. The whole infrastructure if build to serve customers to understand about Apple products. Friendly staff serves customers by allowing them to play and understand about the products. Their purpose is not to make another sale.
I think we need to rethink about our job titles. I suggest few titles as an example:
- Chief Information Services Officer instead of Chief Information Officer
- Chief Executive Services Officer instead of Chief Executive Officer
- Project Services Manager instead of Project Manager
- Bus Services Operator instead of Bus Operator/Driver
- Dental Services Consultant instead of Dentist/Dental Consultant
- Head of Services instead of President
It makes of lot of difference, when our job titles focus on service. It helps us to think, plan and execute a better service. It helps us to throws away our egos that hang around of job titles and it is very important!
It does not matter what you do. At the end of day, you are meant to serve. It is vital to find out whom you are serving and what are their needs? You may be serving more than one. It may be your staff, boss, customer, peer, children, parents or tribe. Their needs will be different. Find the group you are serving and take practical steps to server them better. It will help you to take a great leap forward from where you are now!
I leave you with this question: How good are you serving?
Share your thoughts!