Customer Service begins at the top

Top Executive at work

One of the frustrating experiences of a Customer Service representative is having an expectation or directive from the company’s top management to offer excellent service to customers yet receiving no real commitment from the same management. The company as a whole has no realistic customer oriented vision or mission, it lacks a strategy for truly satisfying her customers, and feedback from customers is never taken seriously unless it’s about to degenerate into a PR crisis.

The global drive towards excellent customer service has been on now for no less than two decades, yet for many companies, it’s still just an issue for a department. The company is yet to grasp that customer satisfaction is not an aspect of the business; it is the business. We simply cannot offer excellent service unless the whole company believes in it and aligns all – I mean all – her processes, goals, and decisions toward this aim. It affects every department. Finance should believe this, HR should buy into it, and Operations should practice it. And the key driver of the whole process has to be top management. If they neglect this or merely offer shoddy support, you might as well close the Customer Service department and tell your customers to go elsewhere. And, believe me, they have options.

The company’s top management must not just preach excellent customer service, it must not just state on the company’s website or corporate documents that “Our customer is our priority”, or some similar cliché. It must show this commitment to the customer in how it designs its products, processes, and systems. The security official at the gate must understand that the customer really is king and not treat every potential one like a possible terrorist. The front line personnel should be confident that she can really go the extra mile for a customer and not be held back by an antiquated ‘policy’.

So much more can be done, but it starts with management really believing in customer service.

 

 

The Steward

We do not really own anything. Our possessions, relationships, and time. They are all on loan to us from God, who is their true owner. And this leads to the responsibility to use them wisely and properly. This is stewardship, and it is the foundation for business and service.

Business is the creation and distribution of a product or service for the benefit of people.
We provide food, clothing, and Ipads because they are useful to people. We render Stewardshipservices like laundry, insurance, and hair styling because someone derives benefit from them. In carrying this out, we utilize resources such as skill, money, and time. Since these are not ultimately ours, they must not be abused. We would not mistreat our staff and employees, but rather respect them and encourage their growth and development as humans. We would respect our customers’ and employees’ time which are a vital element in the production process. What about vendors and investors? We would honour our commitments to vendors and manage well the funds received from investors and shareholders.

We should serve our customers well because even the opportunity to serve them is a God-given gift. We are stewards, and this is what stewards do.

Servant Leaders Demonstrate Courage

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV).

One misconception that often exists regarding servant leadership is the idea that servant leaders are somehow weak. To the outside world, being both a servant and a leader is contradictory, if not impossible. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. It takes courage, strength, and humility to be a servant leader because it requires the ability to sacrifice one’s own self-interests for the good of others and the organization. In order to illustrate this, let’s take a look at the differences between the actions of self-serving and servant leaders, as it relates to courage. Self-serving leaders lack

Self-serving leaders lack courage for many reasons, but there are three that stand out. First, they are overly concerned about what people think of them, and as a result, they try to please everyone. Second, self-serving leaders seek to promote themselves. When self-promotion is the goal, courage is not necessary because decisions are made based on what is most expedient and easy for the leader. Third, self-serving leaders lack courage because they will not admit making mistakes for fear of looking bad. As a result, their insecurity prevents them from being transparent and vulnerable with those they lead. On the other hand, servant leaders demonstrate a great deal of courage in how they lead themselves and others, and they are able to do so because they are clear about three things: purpose, vision, and values.

Servant leaders know who they are at their core, and they are very clear about their reason for existence. As a result, they live and lead with a focus on doing the things that enable them to achieve the purpose for which they were created. According to Rick Warren, “Without a clear purpose you have no foundation on which you base decisions, allocate your time, and use your resources.” Servant leaders understand that God created them to serve, not to be served. Servant leaders have a compelling picture of the future—they know where they are going long-term. As Bill Hybels says, “Vision is a picture of the future that inspires passion in people.” As a result of having a vision and demonstrating the courage necessary for acting on that vision, servant leaders are able to inspire others to join them in attempting to achieve something great for the Kingdom.

Servant leaders are clear about what is most important in life—they have a distinct set of core values that guide their actions. These values are non-negotiable, and servant leaders demonstrate courage by standing up for what they believe in, even if it means being criticized for their core beliefs. Patrick Lencioni asserts, “A core value is something you are willing to get punished for.” If you want to inspire others and transform your organization, get clarity about who you are, where you are going, and what you believe. Then, act with courage by living out your purpose, pursuing your vision, and standing on your core values. When you demonstrate unwavering courage in these three areas, others will follow you because they will see a leader that is emulating the example set by Jesus himself. , ,

Source: Servant Leaders Demonstrate Courage

Happy employees, Happy manager

What does it take to manage well? It is, of course, widely admitted that a manager’s success is inextricably tied to the productivity and wellbeing of her people. If your subordinates are not fulfilled at their work, it could be an indication that you are not doing your job well. So how can I assess how well I am managing them?

The reserach organization, Gallup, has enquired globally into what makes employees actively engaged in the workplace. What gives them fulfillment and makes them happy and productive in their work? Their responses are summarized in the table* below. I think everyone who leads or manages people can derive some wisdom from this.

Elements of Great Managing

*This table was sourced from the article ‘China, We have a Workplace Problem’ which can be found here