What is the most important department in your organization? Most people would say… “mine.” In most organizations there are many departments and everyone thinks theirs is the most important. Some of the departments may include, Finance, Marketing, HR, Sales, Customer Service, Admin, IT, Operations/Production. There is really only one department in any organization, Customer Service, let me explain.
I have had the opportunity to teach and coach on the topics of increasing sales through customer service in ten countries, on four continents over the past 18 months and I often hear the same questions:
- “How can someone experience our service until we’ve made a sale?”
- “I’m in collections, how can I deliver amazing customer service?”
- “I only deal with co-workers so I don’t have anything to do with Customer Service.”
- “I’m so busy how can I make time to think about the customer?”
When you decide, as an organization, that your entire focus is to be of service it permeates every aspect of what you do, from how you answer the phone, to how you offer your products or services, to how you take care of the customer after the purchase. When a salesperson operates from a position of service, the interaction with the customer becomes a collaboration instead of a battle. When every team member focuses completely on adding value to the client it changes every interaction you have both internally and externally.
Many companies have Customer Service as a separate department, as a result there is constant strife between the departments. Customer Service blames Sales for over-promising, Sales blames Customer Service for under-delivering, Finance blames Ops for spending too much who blame Sales for giving away too much, etc. The truth is there is only ONE department in every organization, Customer Service, or to be more accurate Customer EXPERIENCE. Customers don’t buy products or services they buy results and EXPERIENCES.
It doesn’t matter if an organization is for profit, non-profit or a government agency, in one-way or another they exist to be of service or they wouldn’t exist. Sometimes people are paid to be of service to “internal customers” such as other departments, you are still providing a service. Imagine if everyone focused on delivering an amazing Customer Experience to everyone they interacted with every day, what would the world be like?
While different people have different responsibilities within an organization, the bottom line is, if someone is paying you, you are in the ONLY department, the CUSTOMER EXPERINCE department! Will YOU start setting the example today?