Steps to Management Success – Step 11: Companies Don’t Have Personalities—They Have Images

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 30th, 2010


Companies Don’t Have Personalities—They Have Images

Any particular corporate image or perceptions we might have is inextricably linked to a company’s people—how they act, how they present themselves, and, above all, how they interact with you. As the old customer service axiom says, “Customers don’t care how much you know; they care how much you care.”

WHAT IT MEANS: We often think of certain companies as being friendly or being rude. Jet Blue, for example, has a reputation for being friendly and helpful, while other airlines are perceived as giving you the runaround—and not necessarily to where you want to go. Some companies micromanage the customer experience to the nth degree, leaving no contingency unscripted. Others seem to derive a strange glee from casting you into the depths of voice-mail hell, all the while intermittently reassuring you that “Your call is very important to us”—but apparently not important enough to hire a sufficient number of living, breathing customer service representatives.

ACTION PLAN: When you’re on the phone or dealing with a customer in person, recognize that your entire company’s reputation is on the line. The more you treat your customers with respect, empathy, and a caring, can-do attitude, the more new business you’ll attract. It’s as simple—and challenging—as that.

EVEN BETTER: There’s a tendency in many companies to take a dim and dismissive view of customers—after all, customers can be so demanding and intrusive! They are, however, the only reason your business is still in business. Everyone in your company would do well to appreciate that and react accordingly—but you need to lead by example. Make customer service excellence an ongoing priority for your company. Hire for it. Train for it. Monitor it. Reward for it. Believe it!

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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