By Victoria Colverson
“At Company X we have a strong belief in customer relations and believe in providing the best possible service for everyone”
Do you though?
As the first point of contact with the majority of people who contact Exclusive, I have the often variable pleasure of speaking with clients, candidates, suppliers and general sales and enquiry calls on a daily basis. Sometimes it amazes me how some professionals speak with potential clients and users of their services.
Yes, I may be the Gatekeeper. Yes I am that dreaded last bastion of resistance to be knocked down to get through to the decision maker so that you can record your successful call for your overloaded sales centered KPIs, but manners cost nothing and I might be the person who can help you. From working in an environment where reputation depends on relationships, and in an environment where these are either formed or diminished within the first 30 seconds of a telephone call, or first 5 seconds of reading an email, how you speak to people, and what you say is of paramount importance.
I recently took a call from a sales person who was going to be a potential supplier to us. This was a service we were quite keen to use and so I persevered as much as was feasibly possible, to make sure we were getting the service we would want to be proud of ourselves. After countless conversations where goalposts were moved left, right and centre, and then removed altogether, I decided to not continue with this service. Why? Because they do not work in-line with our company ethics and branding.
I’ve been a long time believer that company ethics and customer service should go along the entire supply chain, not just to the people you provide the service for. I would not speak to someone in a way that could be misconstrued as rude, offhand or indifferent. And I certainly would not want to be spoken to in that way. And this is something that we take very seriously at Exclusive. These strong ethics and beliefs in Customer Excellence were recently rewarded through our “Highly Commended” award from the North East Culture for Success Awards, 2012. Customer Excellence has to go both up and down the supply chain, for it to be truly excellent.
Sometimes, the ‘best possible service’ is to walk away, or to let someone know, politely of course, that you are not comfortable with the way they are treating you – believe it or not, they may not realize it! Making sure you meet those daily call targets are one thing, but potentially losing business because you haven’t been consistent with whom you offer the “best possible customer service” to, will ultimately be more damaging for your employer branding.
Why is this consistency important? Read a previous blog of mine (Networking Through Open Doors).
About Victoria Colverson:
“After completing a BA Joint Honors in German and Drama and then successfully becoming a fully qualified Teacher of German, Victoria moved into the industry after joining a nationally recognized market leader in Education Recruitment. Her experience as a Recruitment Consultant gave Victoria the opportunity to excel at providing a high level of service to both candidates and clients and she was able to use her own education background to full advantage, advising candidates on interview technique and the presenting the roles best suited to their personal strengths.
Outside of work Victoria is a member of a large on-line community where she uses her language skills on a daily basis. In addition to this, Victoria is a keen reader and has a healthy interest in food.”
You can check out her website at: http://www.exclusiveltd.co.uk/recruitment