Love Thy Customer

Customer Service is a term that’s time has come and gone. Providing service to a customer does not capture the meaning of what customer service is truly about; because of this, it’s a coin toss as to whether or not exceptional customer relations are being provided. Some may say it’s not in the moniker, rather it’s all about the philosophy and direction of the company. This is very true, however,  ”service” is so vague that it does not adequately position the obligation of the person responsible.

It’s time to blow up the term Customer Service and replace it with a more appropriate one to set the tone. Perhaps we can use “Director of If You Don’t Make the Customer Happy – You’re Fired.” Or maybe we can try “Vice President of Shut Up and Listen.” Both of these titles must be better than what we are currently using. I know this may seem a bit silly, but something definitely has to be done to ensure that customer satisfaction is delivered early and often and at the highest level.

Maybe Harvard Business School and other business programs should stop churning out COO’s and begin developing CCO’s – Chief Customer Officers. All of the focus has been on operations and the bottom line of a company while the real reason for revenue is the customer. I have read numerous articles pointing out that keeping customers is easier and less expensive than getting new ones. So why are most companies not getting it? Probably because many of the folks who run most of the companies are trained in Finance, and are great at numbers, but just don’t get people.

Something needs to be done to fix this ongoing problem of bad customer relations. Maybe the folks at Disney should branch out of theme parks, movies and TV and create a university for all to learn the proper way to grant customers’ wishes. Of course, that wouldn’t make sense for them.  Why should they put everyone else on a level playing field? I wish there was an 11th Commandment – “Love thy Customer.”

So now that my rant is over, it brings me back to creating a new title to capture exceptional customer experiences that will set the tone for everyone in charge of interacting with the consumer. “KA-BOOM” – out with Customer Service and in with Customer Happiness. After all, isn’t that what companies should really be trying to accomplish?

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