Was doing some research for a friend/client on customer service training materials this week. I decided to use Twitter (my top choice for social media portals) as a tool to do some research on the matter. A simple search on the term "customer service training" is all it took to create a hmmm moment. And though my research was not very scientific, it did reveal some things I knew instinctively.
First, customer service is a very popular discipline for a number of companies/consultants. Must mean that bad customer service is more the norm than the exception. I agree with that on its face.
Second, I don't think the customers (organizations) of the customer service training product are fully aware of what's going on inside their own walls.
Here's what brought me to the above conclusions:
My typed search "customer service training" revealed that for every two consultants offering training, there were an equal number of employees who were referring to customer service training as a boring event, a cure for insomnia, or a pain in the rear. Again, this wasn't a scientific result, but it seems that many employees are nodding yes, but thinking and feeling no.
Employees, especially those in larger entities, feel like their targets for cost cutting and lay-offs. Creates a jaded, if not callused view of things. Wonder how these folks treat customers who have legitimate needs/issues?
Why the disconnect? Leadership. Some managers may think they're leading well, but have yet to look behind them to find no one following.
Fixing conclusion #3 creates a bridge for change.
Employers are missing out on the power of social media. See this article for more on that. But I'm speaking of finding out what's REALLY going on with the employee base. Might save them some money and go a long way in reinventing how they serve-employees and customers.
Lois Kelly gives us some compelling insight around Verizon's success with customers. I thought this post was timely, considering the gains Verizon continues to make versus AT&T. You can read more about that here.
As I caught today's announcement of December job numbers, I began to think about how serious things are. Mind you, I didn't just start thinking about the seriousness. But I thought about it differently today.
We are self-employed…whether we know it or not.
The fairy tale of retirement, security and prosperity has truly been the poison pill. What's tragic is the pill was given to us slowly (intravenous like) over time. Makes you wonder how careerists will find a new life. A new life that looks different from the one they know today. Your employer is moving on even if your office chair is still warm.
Shouldn't you do the same?
I see things as permanently changed. What looked stable yesterday has now been disrupted. I'll save you the analysis of what I consider to be the catalysts/disrupter's (mind-numbing government debt, the over supply of money, leadership voids, fear) of what we've come to know. I used to think life would be better is it were predictable. I even, in a past life, tried to manipulate circumstances to try and block the threats (change). The reality is we're better for a life that sometimes gives us smelling salts.
So how do you if you're a self-employed careerist? Consider the following:
When you get to the end of your story, who will stand beside you and give a detailed report? I have the answer; not your company, just you.
On the whole, who is paying/paid for all of that schooling you took?
Your employer requires some type of at-will agreement/contract.
Your share of health insurance premiums has grown significantly over the last 20 years. This trend will continue, or your employer will get out of providing this benefit all together.
You carry a lot of risk working for your company. This applies whether unemployment is 5 or 7%.
I could go on, and maybe you have some other ideas as well. But one of the biggest reasons we're all self-employed is the implication of ownership. You should be the owner of your career because you already are.
Ever thought about how much time you spend working? Ever thought about how much of your identity is shaped by work? Ultimately, I’m speaking to those that work eight or more hours per day in an organization (profit or non-profit). Much has been written about the work place and all of the dysfunctional goings on. But where should all of this land, in light of LIFE?
Some of you will spend thirty or more years working. Your happy, your sad. You get a promotion, you get fired. As someone whose experienced all of those things, I can tell you that my life is not measured in large portion by work. I am learning more and more each day that what matters is what is in my heart. My life will be truly defined by that. Even more importantly, will what’s in my heart “get out?”
Many of you are thinking that you can’t put time and focus on things of the heart. If you’re reading this then you’ve been given the gift of life, therefore successs in the things of the heart is what you should be pursuing.
By the way, you’ll be more of a success in your work when you pursue being a success in the things of the heart.