Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Does Your Organisation Remember?

Customers hate repeating themselves to us; and we should hate it, too (unless they're gushing compliments - which they rarely do). We should hate it because if they're repeating something to us, it's most likely they're repeating it to someone else as well.

And the reason our customers are going on and on about the same thing is because - 9 times out of 10 - they haven't received a satisfactory response (duh). In general, we can respond in two ways:

Bad : Virtually ignore them and say (repeatedly) that we're doing the best we can and hope they 'go away' - this might pacify some customers but it almost never stops them spreading the gospel of how unhappy they are. This mistake is often compounded by the superficial act of asking people to fill up a 'Feedback Form' with the (often unfulfilled) promise that we'll "get back to them".

But why do we want to be passive (ignoring them), bothersome (getting them to complete forms when they've already told one company rep) and insincere (not reverting on their feedback)?

Good : Make sure we heard the first time and act - the C.R.M. folks call this 'institutional memory' i.e. does Finance 'remember' on Thursday what Sales said to Mr. Johnson on Tuesday morning about Thursday's payments, and has something been done? (Heck, does Sales even recall what it said?)

Many people emphasize acting, but it's less noted that one can only act if one has heard - correctly and consistently. Across departments. About individual customers.

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