“I just want to thank you for the rude service I received from one of your employees that manage one of your support departments. I was so close to choosing your company to work with, and I had no idea that I was about to become a customer of a company that treats people with such rude and insensitive behavior. Thanks to the interaction I had today with this manager, I saved myself countless hours of grief in the future by becoming a customer since this is how you treat people. I now can choose a different relationship, one with a company that requires all of their employees to provide a great customer service experience.”
Imagine you are the CEO of a company, and you receive the above letter from a potential customer. I could have sent this letter to three different companies this past month alone! I realize that stress is high right now in corporate America, but why on earth would you take it out on people who could potentially become a client? New clients translate into new business and corporate success! In today’s economy how could any company allow their employees to be rude and insensitive to anyone?
Well that’s the sticking point isn’t it? No company in America has gone out with a memo that says we have no problem with you being rude to non-customers! In fact, I’m sure there is not a single company out there that would openly state anything but the fact they want all of their employees to be kind and considerate in all of their interactions. Why? Because everyone is a potential client or a mouth piece to spread the positive or negative experience they just had.
Yet, when it comes to training customer service skills beyond the front line people, or involving all employees in understanding their impact, too many companies are avoiding the service discussion completely. They are taking a non-verbal pass on this topic, and would prefer to address only customer complaints instead of preventing the initial rude experience. If I was to send this letter to the CEOs of the companies that were rude to me this month, I would get a professional apology letter in the hopes all is forgiven. Unfortunately, a day late and a dollar short, because nothing will actually change at that company.
So if you want to make a major leadership impact on your company, take up the service flag and do more that just train some of your employees. Make service a mandated business objective and create a great experience for anyone that ever comes in contact with your people! Even if they are not a potential client or employee, spend the effort to make them a quality advertisement!