Friday, January 21, 2005

The Right Reason for "Client Satisfaction"

Seth Godin writes, " Care; That, in just one word, seems to be the essence of good customer service." Later in his vignette he comments, "You could spend all your money and all your time trying to improve your customer service through one fancy technique or another. Or you could just care. And hire people who care."

What came to mind for me was some of the less stellar reasons I've heard at professional services firms for implementing customer care initiatives:
  • "We'll have to do this to keep them"
  • "If our competition is doing it then we should too"
  • "Our competition isn't doing it and we could use it in our marketing"
  • "They're talking to our competition"
  • "This won't cost nearly as much as finding a new client like them"
  • "We'll look good"
  • "I need the firm to show them that "I" care
Certainly I know there are so many wonderful accountants and attorneys totally focused on doing the right thing for their clients and their people. The thinking illustrated in the list above is only an indicator of what your firm cultures are sometimes influenced by. Sincere care for people cannot be taught in schools or seminars. It's learned by example and mentoring. Teach it, evangelize it, tolerate nothing less; The reward continues long after the money is spent.