In large organizations, executives are brought into serious customer dissatisfaction situations and that is how they are kept in regular contact with customers. But most of the ‘back room’ workers never hear from or listen to a customer. This is a problem. Many of the back room workers make decisions about products, procedures, usability, serviceability, and offerings without the right customer mind set.


In smaller firms, it is possible for everyone to be on the front line, for at least some part of their job. This increases the customer sensitivity of traditionally back office personnel to customers and makes a company more customer oriented.

In their book ‘Rework, authors Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hanson talk about how they insist that everyone participates in some way with customers several times a year. They get to hear the customer’s words  and their stories and how they use your products.

If your staff work on the service and support desk, they get to hear the customer’s hurt as well. The feeling of hurt has the effect of motivating people to fix the problem. So back office staff need to work on the front lines occasionally, so they hear the hurt from the customer. On a more positive note, when the problem is fixed, it is also motivating for customer service personnel to hear the customer’s ‘joy’.

No one should be shielded from the customer’s view, even if it is criticism.

What is your organization doing? Share your comments below.

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Adele Berenstein

Adele Berenstein is an Experienced Customer Satisfaction Executive, recently retired from a Large Global IT Organization after a long productive management career including Sales, Marketing, Services, teaching and education center management and most recently, 19 years in customer satisfaction management. She turned around divisions with customer satisfaction problems, implemented measurable improvements and management systems, and implemented programs to prevent problems from ever affecting customers.

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