I am very frustrated by how many times I see books and articles about service that are focused on call centers. It seems we have made call centers how service is defined. Well, let me be clear, service is something that begins in marketing and goes on for as long as a business and a customer have a relationship. This focus on call centers is, in my view, one of the reasons why we have such poor service in the first place.
Why? I believe companies who relegate service to a department or a specific part of the customer journey are completely missing the boat. Think about this. What is the fundamental business of business? Isn’t it to provide customers with a product and/or service that helps them accomplish something? Isn’t part of providing that product/service having employees who can explain how the product/service is the best option for customers to achieve whatever they need to achieve? Isn’t the whole process of consulting with a customer to help them understand the product, delivering it on time, helping them learn to use it, showing them tricks to make it more effective, being there when it fails or breaks, and staying in touch to communicate a new product or an update that will make them even more successful what business is all about? And….isn’t all of that service?
Relegating your thinking of service to a call center is short-sighted at best. As far as I am concerned, businesses should make everyone in the company the call center. They should get rid of service departments. They should make sure every employee understands how their role connects to the customer from the C suite to management to accounting to marketing to sales to shipping to the front line, and every single person should be able to pick up a phone when it rings and talk to a customer. NO CALL CENTER, NO SERVICE DEPARTMENT….instead, a SERVICE COMPANY where every employee is working together as a customer advocate, protector, and success-maker.
Think about it, what should you change in your business to make it a service company rather than a company with a call center?