A company is not defined by its sales, profit or stock value. A company is defined by how it treats its customers.
- For external customers, there's United Airlines' disgraceful forced removal of a passenger on an April 2017 flight that wasn't even overbooked.
- For internal customers (employees), there's the February 2017 incident of Uber's top executive berating and cursing at one of his own drivers after the driver told his VIP passenger that the company had bankrupt him.
- Cutting across external/internal customer lines, there's the horrifying uptick in alleged sexual harassment claims where the victims range from female members of the USA Gymnastic team to females in the US military to women subjected to unwanted behaviors while interacting socially or for business with (at least 2) major TV personalities.
This sad state of affairs translates to a golden opportunity for Human Resources to make a meaningful contribution to the companies they support. Here's 5 ways HR can help drive excellent customer service:
- Guiding Principles. Help company's leadership team craft guiding principles that are clear and simple to understand...then take the lead to ensure those principles are communicated effectively to every new hire and understood by all current employees.
- Job Training. Partner with line management to help ensure employees not only learn their jobs properly, but become expert in them. The more expert eemployees become in their job, the greater their ability to provide great customer service.
- Quality of Life. Look out for ways to help employees maintain a good quality of life. Employees who feel good about themselves, their lives and their jobs are more apt to do their best to make their (internal & external) customers feel good, too.
- Teamwork & Information Sharing. Analyze the organization to identify opportunities for improving teamwork by breaking down work"silos" and sharing information that helps employees coordinate effort. Crisper teamwork translates to more focused customer service and increased customer satisfaction.
- Zero Tolerance Harassment Policy. Sometimes HR has to be the "bad cop" and this subject is the right place to do it. HR must properly train employees on sexual harassment prevention (in some states, training is legally required) then set the example by making its zero-tolerance policy a "living" one which protects internal customers (employees) and external customers against any form of workplace harassment. This "living policy" approach must include investigating all allegations of harassment promptly & objectively.
In closing, some "life advice" from great thinkers which can easily be applied to delivering great customer service:
"Well done is better than well said." - Benjamin Franklin
"Whatever you are, be a good one." - Abraham Lincoln
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." - Albert Einstein
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