Customer Service Is Such an Important Job, Perhaps We Should Spread It around

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by: John Caddell

Let me point out two problems:

1) Customer service is quite a difficult job and even the best reps are prone to burn out in time–it has turned into a low-pay, high-turnover McJob instead of the vital, even exalted position it should be.

2) Most managers & leaders are disconnected from their customers, with the result that their decisions often ignore or even defy customers’ wishes.

So, I worked my brain overtime during the recent holiday weekend and came up with a solution: EVERYBODY works in customer service.

Think of it. Rather than a group of ground-down reps fielding all the complaints and questions, everybody takes a turn. It could be perhaps 10-15% of everyone’s job–4-6 hours a week. Computer-aided telephony systems & CRM systems easily support flexible staffs of work-from-home agents and could manage the shift of calls from agent to agent.

Burnout would cease, because everyone would spend 85-90% of their time doing other things. Service would improve, because reps would, essentially, be paid more and be of more varied experience than the reps of today. Customer service management would become really important, since creating processes and training to allow many people to share the job would pose a true management challenge.

Also, everyone throughout the company would gain direct experience with customers’ problems and questions, and therefore be much better able to suggest solutions to product, packaging, distribution, etc., to improve the customer experience.

Meaning the product and the customer service job would, over time, improve. Those speaking to customers would add more value–such as consultation. Deeper insights would find their way into the product. Kind of a virtuous circle.

What do you think?

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