Monday Motivation: Bring Value To The Table

get-a-seat-at-tableI love having conversations with people who either know more than me or have an outside, high level view on things that I just may not see in my present situation.  I recently had lunch with my brother in law who fits this bill and has always been a big brother and mentor.

We talked a lot about my career and how I’ve gained so much valuable experience in the world of customer service.  He then talked to me about the fact that in the world of reactive customer service, there’s a ceiling and I’ve likely hit that ceiling.

He went on to say that customer service leaders have an opportunity to gain a “seat at the table” when it comes to making strategic decisions for the organization.  If you’re anything like me, pay attention to this advice.  Customer service departments possess information that is invaluable to virtually every other department within our organizations.  This is information critical to gaining insight about our customers!  You probably just heard the sound of shattering glass.

As I mull this advice over, I’m beginning to envision a way to do my job better.  I’ll give you one scenario.  Even as awesome as Phone.com is, we still have customers cancel on occasion.  Rather than simply making sure my customer service team is trained to handle those cancelations well, I should be working with my team to gain insight from each of those calls.  Other departments are literally begging for this information and the opportunity is there for the taking.

One does not need to search long to find people talking about the voice of the customer (VOC) in order to find out what customers are saying about our product and service.  As customer service professionals, it is critical that we listen to that voice and make darn well sure we share it with the rest of the organization.

My question for our community of readers is simple.  What are some other ways customer service leaders can provide value to their organizations and gain a “seat at the table?”  As for me, the challenge is clear and the opportunity is there.  What happens next is up to me!

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Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.

One comment

  • As customer service professionals we have access to one thing most others in our company do not have access to –access to the individual customers’ opinions and voices. We should listen to everything they are saying and use that information to help better our company. Cust Serv reps are told the good, the bad and the ugly and they have their fingers on the pulse of each and every customer that reaches out. Harness that power just like it was wind blowing a turbine since it is the power that will run your company. Great post Jeremy. xo

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