Servicing at what cost?

By Jitendra S Jha

 

Communication Industry is faced with this challenge every day. I believe that every client servicing manager is aware about their responsibilities towards their organizations and their clients, however there is a thin line between client servicing & client satisfaction.

I would like to discuss this aspect of the challenges faced by client servicing personnel, in order to achieve their ultimate goal of client satisfaction. I do understand it is not a simple formulae, but a complex emotional and financial matrix that one has to consider.

Over the years communication industry has evolved and has played a more strategic role in delivering business objective, through communications and allied activities. Building strong brand recall and positive perception amongst the key stakeholder is the top most agenda in minds of marketers and business leaders, therefore marketing campaigns are increasingly applying the 360 deg visibility formats.

As per ancient history, Indians have always been traders and the basic of client servicing has evolved from the our cultural core, which says customer is god, Mahatma Gandhi also mentions this in his narrative, “ Customer is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to serve him”. This aspect has been taken quite literary by many clients and which in turn has left many client servicing personnel searching for an escape route.

The need to deliver quick and effectively is becoming a day to day challenge for these client servicing personnel. The demand on their time and emotional involvement is increasing and the complexities of mass communication outlets are not helping the cause.

What is more baffling question is where should one draw the line, since client servicing is a very interpersonal humane aspect how much can systems & processes help.

Today, when you reach out to client servicing personnel in the communication industry, the most prevalent sight is, either they are tired or disinterested, I would call it typical “burnout” syndrome.  This a classic case when you have been slogging relentlessly with no appreciation or motivation, one fine day you realize this not what is want to do and then they just give up.

There are others, that you find in many organization, “the lonely beaver” syndrome, these are typically, people who come in early, leave late, don’t have a life and just go through the rut, just to make the client happy with no questions asked.

There is some other people undergoing “headless chicken” syndrome, usually a bunch of young executives, stretching themselves beyond means, just to impress their clients and bosses. Finally will get to the “burnout” syndrome

I firmly believe, there is no substitute for hard work, but workingintelligently is the need of the hour, there is strong requirement for communication consultancies to recalibrate their offering, it needs to be a well-defined objective driven matrix, one needs to draw a line between what can be delivered what is expected and at what cost. It is important to sometimes say “NO” for the large good in servicing.

Clients also will have to rework their strategy to focus on the important things and priorities their requirement, instead of inundating the servicing team, just because they are available, this will only help in achieving the desired goal and retain the passionate and dedicated consultancy work force.

The mantra to succeed in client servicing is to be there with the client, when he needs you the most, success is always a joint effort, and therefore building humane relationship with the client is critical

“It is not always about winning the race, but participating with your heart and soul”

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