Who Pays your Salary? by Peter Streng

Welcoming a new Employee by Peter Streng
September 11, 2018
THE FUTURE WORKPLACE: 20 Questions for HR Managers by Marius Meyer
October 5, 2018

“My employer” you will say! Wrong! So, who does then? Why, your organisations’ clients, customers, members or donors (as the case may be) of course!

As Sam Walton Founder of WAL-MART once aptly said:

“There is only one Boss: the CUSTOMER! And he can fire everyone in your business, from the Chairman on down; simply by spending his/her money somewhere else


Does that sink in? Do most employees fully understand this and the direct relevance to ongoing endless and ceaseless customer service and delight?

Our long experience with working to improve customer service in both the public and private sectors has led us to conclude that it is much more than customer satisfaction – we are beyond that benchmark. It is about Customer DELIGHT, a total business philosophy that is as much inwardly as outwardly focussed.

Long gone are the days when customer service training only included sales and marketing personnel. Today, it is generally understood that excellent customer service stems from within, i.e. from the entire organisation; all its employees -, a total business philosophy, thus.

Unless all employees understand the notion that they have internal customers whom they need to serve, how will they understand and know how to serve their external customers? The two concepts go hand-in-hand!

For many companies it seems like a good idea to train some of their front-line employees, i.e. those who have direct contact with the client/customer, but with the remaining employees excluded from this training and hence ignorant of the need for a customer-orientation mindset, they then wonder why sales are flat-lining or worse declining or why customers are dissatisfied with their service, attitude and so on.

So, what’s the answer? How do we galvanise the whole organisation to serve the customer/client? How do we get the workforce to really, really understand that without customers/clients, there are no jobs?

Well, quite simple really: we create the conditions for the whole organisation to live for the customer / client. ‘Easier said than done’, you might say. ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.‘Yes’, because it does require some forethought and effort, and ‘No’, it is not rocket-science! It is after all just plain common sense.

Remember how you felt when you, as a customer/client, were let down by a service provider, with poor excuses, like ‘the truck broke down’ or ‘we were short-staffed’, or ‘I didn’t receive your email/order” etc. etc. Be honest – how upset were you that you were treated so poorly as a paying customer. How disgusted were you when you were made to feel as if they were doing you (the client/customer) a favour?

Our experience has taught us that those companies whose employees are tuned-in to their customers/clients are far more likely to achieve sustained superior performance, than those organisations who regard their customers merely as cash-tills.