Monday, September 21, 2015

Customer Service and Staying in Touch, yesterday and today

You may remember a TV commercial from several years ago, I believe it was for a major airline, where a manager was addressing his team of employees about losing a major customer.  Their customer had informed the manager that they had just lost touch.

Instead of in-person meetings between this manager's company and the customer, phone, mail, and perhaps fax messages had become all too prominent (this was several years ago.)  Thus, the customer had moved on to seek better care and attention from another vendor/supplier.

That was probably about 20 years ago, if not more.  Now, fast forward to today and add e-mail, Facebook, Twiter, texting, smart phones, voice messages, and more and where do we stand?  For companies having communication problems then, are we better off, worse, or the same now?

Has advanced electronic communication brought us closer to our customers, taken us further away, or has the dynamic stayed about the same?  Are we more in-touch with today's advanced electronic communication, more out of touch, or have things remained the same?

Here is my argument.  While technology has changed communication dramatically and continues to evolve, it is our attitude that remains the critical constraint in effective business communication.  We can, and probably will, choose to use the communication tools available in the current world.  If those tools are used to aid and enhance a great attitude of customer-centric activity, we will be successful..

If we stay focused on the needs of customers regardless of which forms of communication we use most predominantly, we will be effective.

I still believe that face-to-face contact and communication is preferred and most effective.  But, in a climate where we are asked to do more, the latest tools con be the most effective if coupled with the best attitude.  Let me know how we can communicate best to review the many values of Fluid Power World to your marketing plans.

As the manager in that commercial said, I'm going to see that customer that we lost to get reacquainted.  I hope that he sets up an Outlook meeting first.