Quality Control: Great Leadership = Great Customer Service = Profit

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), July 27, 2005 | Go to article overview

Quality Control: Great Leadership = Great Customer Service = Profit


Byline: By Andrew Williams

Andrew Williams, director of the Wales Institute of Customer Service, explains why if companies don't treat their staff right they cannot expect them to go that 'extra mile' for customers

CAN you remember the first day in your new job? How did you feel? Did you arrive 'scrubbed-up', well groomed, dressed to impress?

I'm sure you were early, keen to greet each and every new person with a friendly smile.

A spring in your step and a well-rehearsed engaging vocal tone, you tried hard to build rapport without appearing to be over confident.

The customers and clients of your new organisation were now your customers and clients. You wanted to do as much as you could to look after them. You wanted to be proud of working for your new employers.

Now look around you. Does everyone share the same enthusiasm of new starters, regardless of how long they have been in the job? Are they there because they love what they do? Or because its 'just a job'.

What happened? Why do bright enthusiastic new starters become disillusioned and demotivated? The answer is the same reason people leave (or are waiting to leave) the job - leadership.

The evidence that great leader- ship equals great customer service equals profit is stronger than ever.

Every bit of research leads to the same conclusion. Successful organisations look after their customers - successfully.

But it isn't hard to work out. How should you look after your people if you want them to treat your customers badly? Correct! The opposite works in the same way. Then why do so many organisations treat their employees like commodities to be used and abused?

It always comes back to poor leadership. Great leaders consis- tently demonstrate core attributes; Respect, vision, passion, communication and yet more respect. They respect their customers, suppliers, shareholders, competitors, but always most importantly - their people. They listen to their staff. They understand the concerns of their teams and how to help them achieve high performance. Not only do they listen to feedback, they set up systems to ensure feedback is captured and acted upon. In other words, they are close to the business. …

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