Thoughts on customer service…

Some thoughts on customer service from Mike Eller,  Owner and President of Aria On-site:

Every single function performed by every single person in the company must be wholly performed with the thought and BELIEF that we are serving the customer.

The guy fixing the blind

The guy getting the oil change done on the service vehicle

The office worker entering the invoice from our supplier

The accounts receivable person making sure that the customer is paying their bills on time (yes this is actually serving the customer)

The person in charge of cleaning up the vehicles and warehouse space

The guy that takes the trash out to the dumpsters from our office or from our warehouse must BELIEVE that he is serving the customer.  His role has a direct upstream connection to the customer service that is provided, and whether he does his duty or not and how well he does it or not has an immediate impact on someone who in turn has an immediate impact on someone else, eventually affecting how the customer is served.

It’s not just the person answering the phone or the front line staff performing duties or the customer service rep following up with the customer, although these are the first and front lines of communication and obviously are very important as they form the perception the customer has of our business. But without the support people behind the scenes understanding that their job duties serve the customer, the first priority of serving the customer will become harder and harder and will eventually fall down the list.

Serving each other serves the customer:

It is commonly understood that companies have a role to serve the customer, but how many companies understand that everyone serving each other within the company ultimately serves the customer?  There are various ways to serve each other – some are obvious, and some seem honestly backwards at times.

The traditional role calls for the employee to serve the boss.  Not so traditional is the thought that the boss must serve his employee.  Read on…….We all have job descriptions, with a particular goal in mind. True service requires that we drop our job description boundaries for the sake of the common goal:

Analogy – there are 11 guys on offense in football. All 11 guys have a particular role or responsibility. One guy goes here, the other guys goes there, they all have their plan and their job.  The hiker hikes the ball to the QB every single time, then he guards the QB. That is his job, that is how he makes his living, if he does this really well, his QB will love him.  The hiker does not catch passes, run the ball, kick the ball, he hikes and blocks-simple.  But if the QB gets in trouble and fumbles the ball, and the hiker is the closest guy to the ball and he chooses to say “I’m a hiker and a blocker, I don’t touch the ball, don’t run, not paid to do that” – rest assured he will be visiting the head coach immediately after the game and he will be sent packing regardless of how well he performs “his” duties. Obviously the team’s goal is to put the ball in the end-zone and score points, therefore in order for the goal to be accomplished the hiker must remember that his role to serve the QB is only a part of the bigger role which is the serve the team and he must do WHATEVER it takes to serve that team when his QB is in trouble. He must go outside the boundaries of his job and pick up the ball and become a 300 pound running back and freight train his way toward the goal line no matter how hard it is and no matter how much oxygen he will need when he gets to the bench.  If he is going to serve then he needs to serve, the QB, the other guys on the field, the guys on the bench, the team, the franchise, the fans, the city, etc…

So when the boss fails to provide the appropriate leadership, communication, fairness, boundaries, structure, freedom, etc… for his employees to do their job well, then the boss has failed in serving his staff.  He must do all these things well, serving his staff with their needs and requirements, in order for them to serve him, serve each other, serve the company and serve the customer.

Bottom line here at Aria On-Site: we are all here to serve the customer, in everything we do.