[4 min read]
What Happened to Customer Care?
It might be just me but lately I have been frustrated with the lack of customer care I’ve experienced across a number of organisations. Now some might suggest that I’m speaking out “entitlement” language however, if you know me, I’m the one who would usually allow others to trample over me before I’d take out my entitlement card!
Back to my recent experience… Without boring you with too many details, I was expecting to receive an occasional chair that I had ordered in November last year (9 months earlier). The reason I was still awaiting its delivery was because “my chair” had arrived in March but alas was the wrong chair in the wrong colour, so was reordered. After being told it would take another 12 weeks I relaxed and diarised a follow up in July. So in July I began a rhythm of calling the company and getting nowhere. Now when I say rhythm it wasn’t really an enjoyable music score. Basically I called “customer care” and each time was told the same phrase, that none of their departments (head office, delivery, showroom, or themselves – the department of care for customers!) had any information about my chair and that I’d hear back soon. After three of the same conversations, and not receiving any return calls, I resolved to pursue a refund. Again not an easy task but by then I had a large amount of internal motivation to close this problem.
If the above story was isolated it would be simply frustrating but it occurred on top of a number of other occasions when I felt that organisations (and when I say that I mean the staff at the organisations) did not care or want to help me. So I have recently been asking, “What happened to customer care?”
We have all lived through the past few years where the world literally changed. And with that change I’ve noticed a “it’s not my responsibility” vibe. How long can we really keep up the dialogue that blames Covid for everything? With this in mind I wonder if we can change that by living out two principles when dealing with our ‘customers’. (For this exercise I invite you to broaden the definition of ‘customer’ to clients, staff, congregration, students, team members, even your family.)
“It’s not my fault.” “That’s not in my job description.” Or even, “soz” or “my bad” (that I think really means sorry but oh well). Familiar phrases? Yes, I believe too often these days.
It is really important that we adhere to our job descriptions and it’s also essential to not take on responsibilities that are not ours to carry (especially if that leads to burn out or fatigue) however, often our customer’s position is that they are dealing with our organisation and not just us, an individual. So it’s crticial to ensure that someone is taking responsibility for matters that arise.
The Bible is pretty clear about the greatest commandment – To love God and others. As we take responsibility to handle a problem, follow through on a request, refer to the right person, we are loving others. And communication goes a very long way. Keeping customers updated shows we care and that they matter, even if the news is simply a holding advice.
You don’t need to look far in the Bible to know that faithfulness is a big deal. “Great is your faithfulness”, “The fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness”, “Good and faithful servant”.
So what does it look like to be faithful? Faithfulness speaks of loyalty and steadfastness. You could also say it represents reliability and truth. I’m sure you can recall a time when you have felt let down. Perhaps someone didn’t follow through with what they said they would do. Or maybe you fell victim to the over promise and under deliver declaration.
We have the power to limit when others feel let down by being faithful. A few examples of this include, doing what you say you’ll do, saying what you know you can do, giving realistic responses, and living with consistency.
Let’s together reclaim customer care! After all care (or better termed, love) is what fuels us and propels us to be led more by, to lead more like and to lead more to Jesus.
If the above resonates with you and you want to take a next step in taking responsibility and becoming more faithful then reach out to us to explore finding a coach to take you forward.