Remember that old sound bite from James Carville, former campaign strategist for President Bill Clinton, “It’s the economy, stupid.”? Since then, the phrase has become sorta a pop culture snowclone to stand for a topic of focus or an important message.
I was reminded of the saying after reading a full-page IBM ad in The Wall Street Journal. In bold print, the ad said “Welcome to the Era of the Chief Executive Customer”. Even without me telling you the detailed copy, you get the point. It’s all about customer service.
Hopefully, I’m not jumping the gun, but I’m starting to believe that companies are getting the message. Recently, I’ve had a few customer service issues.
Mr. Bartender and I replaced our worn out gas grill. At the same time, we bought a grill cover. When the grill arrived, there was a coupon in the box for 25% off grill covers. I’m like – darn, I shouldn’t have been so efficient and bought the grill and cover at the same time. So I figured what the hey…let me email the company and see if they’ll give me the discount. Sure enough, they did. No fuss. No “bring your receipt into a store”. I was credited the amount immediately.
I also had my domain registration company accidently charge me for a renewal that I didn’t request. Sent them a note. Got it fixed right away. In fact, the customer service rep visited HR Bartender before he called and commented on how nice the site was. How cool is that?! It was totally unnecessary, especially since the HR Bartender domain wasn’t in question.
Neither of these situations were epic fails. They were just annoyances. And they were fixed in a timely manner without a bunch of bureaucracy. Kudos to the companies involved.
The IBM ad shared about how big data was transforming marketing and the customer experience. CMOs said that marketing used to shape customer opinions. Now it’s the other way around. Similarly, an article in Inc. Magazine talked about the creation of a new position – Chief Customer Officer – designed to make sure the customer voice was always being heard in the boardroom.
Hmmm…is it possible that the same will happen with human resources? Will employees start driving the experience? Maybe in some organizations, they’re doing it already. If so, this clearly sends the message that HR needs to have a firm understanding of organizational culture along with a keen sense of what employees feel is important. Oh yeah, then they need to deliver!
Image courtesy of Deirdre Honner