Pointers from the Principals: Emphasizing Each Customer's Importance
Over the years I’ve been a part of many different service-oriented organizations. I’ve spent time in System Implementation roles, Help Desk Supervisory roles, Dispatch Center management, Support Center management, and in Human Resource management, where every employee is a customer. In each of these roles, as in any customer service role, there were many challenges. Every time the phone rang I had to assume it was a customer calling with a problem of some kind. And throughout the day I’d always say to myself , “That's why I'm here, to help them." It was unlikely the phones were ringing with customers eager to share how wonderful things were. But there was one phrase I heard frequently over the years and it always surprised me to hear this from a customer: "I know I'm not one of your big customers, so I understand I might not receive the same level of attention but..."
Every time I've heard this statement, I've always been taken aback by it. My automatic response upon hearing it has always been, "Really? You're not one of our big customers? Does knowing that information cause me to behave any differently, or treat you as any less important?" And my answer to this was always the same -- an unwavering "No, not at all." I didn’t realize an answer that was so obvious to me, could be so unclear to others.