Why isn’t your business growing like you want it to? It depends who you ask. Sales will tell you that they aren’t getting good leads and, when they do close the business, customer service won’t do what it takes to make the customer happy. Customer Service will tell you it is because sellers over-promise and drop the customer like a hot potato as soon as they close the deal. Marketing will tell you that they are getting thousands of leads but sales doesn’t know how to close. So, who’s right?
The short answer is, they are probably all right. Many organizations lack the cross-functional focus on the customer needed to drive customer loyalty, and loyalty is critical because it delivers the “4 Rs” (revenue, repeat business, referrals and a great reputation). If the customer is at the center of everything you do, your organization is more likely to work together than in silos. There will be cross-functional communication that is centered on serving a common goal, and each department will see the other as an extension of itself.
So, how can you move in this direction? Here are four steps you can immediately take to get everyone focused and working together to meet the needs of the customer:
- Do what King Arthur would have done: invite everyone to a meeting at a round table. A round table has no obvious head, no one seat has more position power than the other.
- In the center of the table, set a large crystal object to represent the customer; that way no matter who you are taking to, you must look through the customer.
- Put a mirror at every place setting. No department should place blame unless they first look in the mirror and ask themselves what they can be doing to better service both their external and internal customers.
- Begin an open, honest and ongoing dialog centered on servicing the customer and each other. Commit to an “all for one and one for all” code of conduct.
The blame game will quickly come to a halt if your mantra states: “If you are not serving the customer, then serve someone who is!”