Should The Customer Always Come First?

The customer always comes first…This is a widely upheld mantra in the business community, but should it be so?

Absolutely not, says Customer Experiences managing director Chris Bell. According to this service industry training consultant, it is a fatal error many businesses succumb to.

“Your people should be number one, and your customers number two. Unless your own people are having a really great experience they won’t be delivering a great experience to your customers.”

Without the tools, resources, vision, motivation and appropriate training your team cannot and will not be effective in their role. “People want to be happy in their work and the lack of appropriate tools leads to frustration, which then leads to a high turnover of staff,” he adds.

It comes back to ground roots principles of hiring staff, explains Chris. “Many businesses don’t understand who are the right people to have in the organisation. They have a vague concept but it’s not really based on anything solid. They are looking for happy, smiling, welcoming people but they are not working to a defined plan specific to their business. This ad hoc approach where they leave so much to chance is going to deliver an inconsistent service which does not lead to customer loyalty.

“When you adopt a strategy that is committed to putting your people first, you experience the rewards in many aspects of your business. Operating costs will reduce. You’ll start attracting the right people to work with you, your staff retention rates will increase, customer complaints will be less of an issue, your customers will be more tolerant, and the focus on price as the only thing to talk about will be less of an issue.

“Your people will be more focused, creative and have a greater feeling of involvement and become more engaged. Your customers will love the change in attitude and all those little surprises that will greet them on a regular basis, because it will be all about them.”

Auckland Today magazine

Sandy Galland – email


Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences; a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. Click here to contact us.