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ARTICLESManagement & Service

TEAMWORK - THE NAME OF THE GAME

While products satisfy a need, service satisfies the emotion. Customer satisfaction is a combination of both. Good service gives comfort, security, a feeling of importance to the customer leaving him delighted.

Just as a machine has various parts working in perfect co-ordination to produce a good product, similarly customer service is the mechanism that produces customer satisfaction. An individual or department by itself cannot produce satisfaction. Customer service has various cogs in the wheel, it has its own drivers, it needs to be serviced regularly, you need to tend and care for it, for it to serve well. Like a machine it has to be functioning well to produce positive results.

There is of course a major difference that one needs to remember. Unlike a machine this mechanism is more sensitive. Each part big or small can think for itself. It reacts emotionally to external conditions, that directly reflect in its output. It is human.

CARE FOR IT

You take care of the various parts involved in customer satisfaction by genuinely loving it, caring for it and it will produce results par excellence.

This should be the golden rule leading to customer satisfaction and success in any business.

Good teamwork is the key to get this mechanism running smoothly. Since it can think for itself it is important that the energies and focus be well directed and canalized to meet the required objectives.

FOCUS

To start, the main cogwheel has to be customer focused. With this objective he should find the means to achieve it. He has to ensure that everyone in the organization without exception and at all times thinks about customer satisfaction. The concept of customer focus has to percolate down the line. With this clarity in vision, the team has to take the unified task of ensuring that each and every customer is satisfied. After all it is customer satisfaction that helps the company grow. For only a satisfied customer comes back for more, he shares his experience with others, who in turn visit you.

For this process to be effective it is essential all departments work in good co-ordination. The flow of activities has to be smooth. Each and every department has to understand its function. Furthermore all employees in the department have to understand their contribution in meeting the department’s functions. Having understood it is imperative that they perform as required. Only then will the process produce the required results

                                                 

CHAIN REACTION

Delighting customers is possible when front line employees service customers with enthusiasm. They should transmit exuberance to make it productive. This requires similar support from back office and operations without which his efforts would be a big waste. Frontline and sales are like window displays that attract customers to the establishment. Having stepped in, the various departments have to ensure that expectations are met and maintained at all times. Hence they need to be equally enthusiastic in doing their part in servicing the customer.

This zest to be constantly simmering needs a set of drivers. They should make sure that service levels are maintained and bettered. Managers need to ensure that the mechanism is kept in top-notch condition with regular servicing in the form of motivation. Motivation - the charge to keep one going. Motivation that many a times need not cost a penny. It is a creative pursuit.

The mechanism also requires occasional repair. If there is a spoke in the wheel or something that is not sufficiently oiled it creaks and grunts. We need to tend to it ASAP for it affects customer satisfaction. While replacement is a good possibility it might not be the most economical solution. The alternate is to repair it with understanding. Managers should understand the problem and find solutions to get it back in working condition. Maybe it needs counseling.

Bear in mind the drivers also need to be taken care of. It also needs regular training and doses of inspiration to perform well.

All these different parts working enthusiastically in excellent co-ordination with a common objective will produce customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction that translates to business growth and success.

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COMMENTS

Mike

This is a good article but I find most often that managers themselves have differences. Given that scenario how can teams work in sync.

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