Fast growth companies deal with more and more customers – it’s implied in growth. Having more and more customers increases the risk that some will be unhappy. More unhappy customers will increase the chance of unreasonable customers, and unreasonable customers are top of my mind. Why? Because I just ran across some 18-year-old notes from my work at a major casino. At the time, the internet was not well used for feedback, reviews, and ratings by customers. It was a time when you called, and a person actually answered the phone.
I acknowledge that times are different yet would emphasize that we still deal with people – face to face, phone to phone, email to email. It’s communication - period. Just last week I received a call from a fast-growth, high-customer-touch client. They were challenged with company representatives handling irate callers. So, let’s agree that if you ever interact with people, there is a chance for disagreement. My focus today is the same as it was for the caller – the boss. All the training and development you can buy won’t change your customer relationship unless you have the right boss in place. Call them customer service supervisor, shift manager, call center director, vice president, entrepreneur or other and this is the key position for a pivot to customer service. When your team has interactions with people that are seemingly unreasonable, even irate, then this is the person to empower your team to act.