“The customer is always right” is a slogan that has echoed through workplaces and the media for decades, and has been a staple idea in customer service throughout all of our lives. At its core, the idea that the customer’s concerns should be taken seriously is a principle that leads to a positive experience for the customer, building trust and lifetime value for the business. In reality, the phrase conjures suppressed teenage or young adult memories for most of us, we all remember that at least one time in our careers customers have been unreasonable, wrong or outright disrespectful towards us, even though we were simply trying to help them.
Most workers in customer-facing roles have to be hard-skinned when dealing with these interactions and often give into difficult demands to make their lives easier. But of course, we’re in the IT business and we can’t change recently installed IT solutions when they’re actually the most suited to the customer’s needs. That’s why we advocate a different approach.
Implementing change through a customer-centric focus
We know, it seems like a glaringly obvious statement to manage customer expectations with customer service, and we’re probably not the first to think of this, but it’s the approach that is different.
Many companies will do anything to keep the customer happy and adopt a “give them what they want approach”. For industries like retail, this is an easy fix to problems and the costs of refunds and returns can be absorbed by the company. But what if a customer doesn’t like their new IT infrastructure? What if it’s because they don’t understand it? Or, if it’s because of a few teething problems? It’s not simple or cost-effective to rip out the new infrastructure for cloud services.
An example of implementing change across a large nationwide company, whilst surpassing employee satisfaction targets, was our wide-scale transformational change project with Virgin Trains.
Our initial target of +64 happiness score was set in comparison to other nationwide transport companies, and within a year was +82. This dramatic increase was down to the customer service system we set in place through Virgin Trains’ TechHub, and was achieved by:
- Managing the time expectations of Virgin Trains’ employees’ support tickets.
- Clear communication channels and progress updates of support tickets.
- Improving customer service through transparency and communication skills.
- Improving customer service in the TechHub by changing behaviours towards internal customers.
This kept us accountable for managing the expectations of Virgin Trains.
We have to respect backgrounds
Ultimately, we have to respect the educational and training backgrounds of our customers. Not everyone in the client’s organisation understands or are interested in IT, some don’t like to embrace change and some will surely see it as a waste of time.
But, by providing exceptional quality of service we can change people’s minds and slowly wait for even the most stubborn to embrace transformational changes.
At Spherica, we stand by the idea that it’s not simply just fixing problems, it’s about how you fix them, and that’s how we can solve even the biggest IT challenges companies face.