It was a bright and beautiful Monday morning, excited about the success of the past week and the enthusiastic feeling of prospects Mr. Tom, the Business Manager of Crystal Ventures strolls into the main reception hall and stops in his tracks.
An irate customer is hurling insults at Jane, the customer relations officer who looks confused as she has little or no idea of what’s happening. Moving close to observe, it soon became obvious to Mr. Tom that after having an awful morning, the customer is simply over-reacting and misunderstanding the issue.
Let’s Pause and think. As an individual; What do you think Tom should do? Recall, the customer is the king of your business? Jane is part of the system and should not be ridiculed. Bearing this in mind, should Tom just summarily blame it all on Jane in a bid to pacify the customer and personally attend to his needs or he should support Jane and fault the customer for his over-reaction?
Now before we conclude on that, let us track back, shall we? From how the business kicked off. And beyond that, yes, back to the very first steps of setting up a business. Are you wondering what it is? Setting your business goals.
Tom knew that with the intricate digital landscape that exists today, business goals have to incorporate the wants and needs of the customer even at the goal-setting stage. That is why his business goal is to put the “customer” first focus on adding value to the customer; and solving a need. He needs a build a customer-centric business goal, because as an entrepreneur, your Online Value Proposition and Offline Value Proposition (OVP) must clearly state your Unique Selling Point (USP).
To break this, Tom’s business goal needs to solve the customer’s problem in order to be viable and not just solve it, but solve it in a unique way – offering a value that no other competitor or business offers (that his Unique Selling Point).
Now after goal setting, he had to draw up his business plan which included
- Digital marketing plan.
- Identifying his target audience and subsequent audience segmentation.
- Following up and monitoring his timelines.
- Building milestones and finally
- Starting the business.
Also considering the must-do for every successful business viz:
- Mapping out the buyer’s journey for his products/services.
- Identifying micro-moments which are the critical touch points where his customers come in contact with his product and more importantly make decisions regarding his product and
- Continuously improving the customer’s experience for every micro-moment across all channels
He thus placed much importance on theUser Experience.
He also placed even equal importance on one of the 8p’s of the marketing mix – People. Yes. He always remembered that:
Happy Staff = Happy Customers = Happy Shareholders/Stakeholders.
If I should ask you, what is the most important component of a business?
Would you say “Capital”? Well, without the capital, the business cannot begin? Would you say it’s fixed assets, the infrastructure, or the CEO? Or maybe the staff which make up the “Human Resources”?
The answer is “Human Resources”. You need the human manpower for planning, bookkeeping and administrative tasks for the institution to run effectively. Without the right people, the brand cannot speak; nor sizzle.
Your staffs’ are important, they are your internal customers. You have to take care of them, train them, motivate them, and yes, of course, get them to love working with you and always make your staff happy.
Your customers have to be even happier. They are the reason you started your business and why you put everything in place. Excellent service – before, during and after a sale – is required if repeat business is top priority.
So now, back to the earlier question; what should Tom do in the clash of the irate customer and Jane – the flustered customer relations officer? Should he make the customer feel like the King by putting down Jane and taking the matter in hand thereby making the customer happy? After all, Customer is King. Or should he put the customer in his place and make his staff – his internal customer- happy?
My answer?Well, Tom definitely has to be careful of the “customer service time bomb”. He has to balance both options. Noting that Jane definitely needs more training on customer engagement, especially how to handle disgruntled customers, he can quietly step in, adroitly avoid any blame game, guide the customer to a different spot like an office, hear him out and pacify him and of course find a solution to the problem that satisfies the customerwithout undermining the confidence level of his staff thereby maintaining the business principle of the
CUSTOMER BEING KEY TO THE BUSINESS.
Written by:- Gabriel Igwebike
Digital Skills Trainer, Kano, Nigeria
Facebook: Gabriel Igwebike