Like most companies you come across, we have beautiful posters espousing our “core” values. These “core” values were derived at secret meetings which required secrete hand shakes for entry and various ceremonies such as:
- convoluted names for coffee-beans smashed into hot water and milk.
- marketing designed, marketing 3-way tested, focus group named things once known as crackers with cheese
- hidden bunkers used to syphon the energies of the universe into the attendees, before they could vomit o their own self-assurances
Of course, everyone has the core value of “Customer” something or other. You know, how we all love those troublesome ‘others’ called customers, and how our genes have been scientifically altered such that our every waking moment is infused with the desire to pleasure our customers. Like broken start-ups around the world, we are also infused to not care whether we make any money out of this operation, we just love our customers.
Meanwhile, as the scientists continue to fine tune their adjustments to our psyche, phone calls go unanswered whilst we’re busy browsing the Internet.
There was a company I once worked at, where the CEO would pick up a ringing phone, deal with the issue and afterwards calmly scream at you if you were anywhere near hearing the ringing phone and didn’t do something about it. We didn’t have a customer service “core” value. He (yes it was a real he, not a metaphorical) just expected that we set up the phones so people can get in touch with us, and if the phone is ringing you bloody well answer it, he didn’t care if you had to walk across the bleeding office to get to it.
In our “core” value Customer oriented company, it’s the marketing/sales team that are most guilty of letting their phones ring. If they can’t get through, they can’t complain, and they can always call back if they really want to get through. There’s something being said here:
The team tasked with communications to, from our customers don’t pick up phones from any but their own. Even if the ringing phone is the desk beside them.
Which sign are you reading? The colourful one on the wall, or the colourful ones at their desks?