Following the article in the Standard Newspaper dated 8/07/1998 on “Customer Care Improvement by Robert L Fousler (MD) Consultant s for Effective Training, I am in total agreement with him concerning the points that he has put forth concerning Customer Care within business organizations.
Customer Care is an important point in management and should be carried out by any manager within any business organization irrespective of what departments he is directly of indirectly in charge of. It is important to note that a business or organization cannot effectively attract customers /clients if it cannot deal with its internal clients. In any business/organization, internal clients are the employees within the organization.
Mr. Fousler mentions that in Kenya, many industries in the market and developing from a “Sellers” market into a “Buyers” market. This means that the only difference between one Seller and another will be in the quality of the service rendered to them. In addition to this, the expectations and demands of clients have been increasing and have been rapidly dynamic over the past five years and in order for you to please, and indeed, maintain a client then the services rendered to them should be adequate and ready to fulfill their needs.
Most service industries, if not all, are all client/customer oriented and they depend on the client to pay for their services that are intangible. With this in mind, it is in their best interest to ensure that the services they offer are useful to the client and that the Customer Support is highly advanced and effectively operational. In reference to this, it is important for organizations, particularly those in the service industry, to realize that their future success is dependant on managers viewing their staff as the most important assets they have and that everything depends on how they work as a team.
He goes on to mention that Customer Care skills should not only be offered to staff in service-oriented organizations but to all organizations in general. If people can serve one another and each department serving the other, then the Customer Service skills will be extended to the “External” customer.
He also highlights the importance of Customer Care in any organization and says that it is not wise to train only certain sections in the organization since everything everyone does in the organization has an impact on the client in one way or the other. Therefore, everyone must be included in Customer Care oriented seminars because they create awareness in staff of the importance of gaining such skills. After the training has been undertaken, then the most important task is to implement it. This includes maintaining a high level of outgoing commitment and insists that this can only be done by each department having “Ownership” of the process, so that Customer Care is supported by committed individuals and teams rather than just by management.
He says that one way of promoting the training is to have an incentive to bolster the training that has been carried out. An example would be to give gifts or rewards to those who improve the most in the service they give to both internal and external customers.
Under Evaluation, he says that it is not easy to quantify but one good approach would be to do a “Before” and “After” survey of the complaints received from External customers.