Employees Come First: How Attitude Can Impact how an Organization Recruits and Retains Its Employees
The old adage of “The customer comes first” or “The customer is always right” comes from the belief that if customers do not come first then the customers will stop buying your product or service eventually sending the business into bankruptcy. Let’s take a look at this philosophy more closely and in particular what it means for a call center.
If a company fully embraces the concept of “The customer is always right” within a call center this has an implication for how the call center does business with customers on the phone. This means that if a customer is dissatisfied with the experience s/he has on the phone with one of your representatives then the call will more than likely be escalated to a supervisor or manager for the customer to feel like they have been listened to and the issue resolved. With the customer first philosophy in place means that you must have an ample number of supervisors and managers on staff to handle the escalated complaint calls.
Moreover, employees in the call center will begin to understand that if the customers are always right, and they have an issue with the customer on the phone, this will mean that the representative will always be wrong. For if the customer is always right and the representative did not offer a satisfactory solution then the representative is, by definition, wrong.
It does not take many calls for a representative to learn that if they are always wrong and the callers are always right, then it is in the representative’s best interest to avoid complaint calls by avoiding them, escalating them or hanging up on the call. This does not produce the optimum level of service for the customer and it does not produce a good work environment for the employee. It does produce an inherent conflict between the caller and the representative at the beginning of each call. So, what is another approach?
Some of the most successful companies in the United States have modified the “Customer is always right” statement and to an “Employee first” philosophy. So, what does this mean? It means that the representatives are empowered to do what they need to do to satisfy the customer on the call. The calls do not have to be escalated, avoided or dropped. Instead the representative can work with the caller to solve the issue.
Furthermore, the supervisors and managers, which are fewer since there are fewer escalated calls, exist to support the employees first, thus the employee first philosophy. The underlying logic is that if you support your employees fully then they will take care of the customers to their maximum ability.
Most importantly, there is no inherent conflict between the representative on the phone and the customer. This leads to both loyal customers and loyal representatives which is a recipe for success for the organization.