I’m here to deliver some tough love to businesses today. As a HR pro, I totally understand that the recruitment market is tough. I hear the same stories from recruiters who are posting job openings and getting zero responses.
I also understand the pressure to deliver revenue and profits. Whether you’re in the public or private sector, for profit or not-for-profit, there’s an expectation that the financial goals of the organization will be met.
Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos reminded me that organizations have an obligation to their customers and stakeholders. That obligation includes deliving excellent customer service. Even when they’re scrambling after an employee calls out unexpectedly.
Deliver on your organizational promises. While I will admit it’s a delight when companies under promise and over deliver, my expectation is that companies will deliver what they promised. So, if the company says, “You’ll get your order on Thursday.” Then, I expect to get my order on Thursday. And if for some reason the order isn’t going to arrive on Thursday, then contact the customer and explain when they will get their order.
Use technology for what it does best. I’m not even talking about artificial intelligence or machine learning here. Organizations can use technology for routine tasks and free employees up to take care of customers. I recently went to a store to return something and the customer service agent said they couldn’t accept my return because they didn’t have ink in their printer. That just blew my mind. An organization with revenues over $500 billion and they can’t buy printer ink? Give employees the technology tools to take care of the customer.
Re-evaluate your recruiting strategy. If your organization is having a tough time delivering good customer service because you simply don’t have enough employees, then look at your recruiting strategies. Organizations might want to consider phased retirement strategies to keep older workers longer. Companies can also look at creating attractive part-time opportunities. And there’s always building a strong contingent workforce to help during peak times.
Organizations cannot use “We don’t have enough employees.” as an excuse for poor customer service. Especially if they also want to charge top dollar for their product or service. Companies that figure out how to maintain an engaged workforce are going to realize the true benefit of customer loyalty.14