Customer focus beyond sales…

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When you mention ‘Customer Focus’ a lot of people immediately think of their sales department. The reality is that good Customer Focus must be designed into every part of your business. A recent interaction with our Insurance Broker is testament to this…
I’ve been with my Broker a couple of years. They’ve generally been happy, helpful and responsive and I have my insurance. Insurance is just one of the things my business needs. It’s a hygiene factor. I don’t get excited about it, but I’m satisfied.
A couple of months ago we sought to increase our cover to comply with the purchasing policy of a large new client. We’d spoken to the Broker to request the change and confirm the price, then gave them the go ahead a couple of weeks later. Every time I walked into the new client I remembered that I hadn’t received an invoice for the change. Mental note: Chase Broker. One month and many mental notes and emails later, still no invoice.
Last week I received a call… “It’s xxx from xxx Brokers. I’m just following up on an invoice you haven’t paid”. What?!?! Haven’t paid??? Let’s try “Haven’t received despite multiple attempts!”. Outcome: Their business is chasing payment while their customer is desperately trying to pay, and clear the task off the to-do list. Nuts.
So what can we learn from this?
Clearly my Broker hasn’t built Customer-focus throughout their business.
If my Broker was truly Customer-focused, they would understand me and my business. They’d understand that my days are long and busy, and that insurance actually isn’t the number one priority when I wake up in the morning. They’d understand that keeping on top of the basics gives me the space to do what I love. They’d understand that having to chase them for invoices just produces unnecessary clutter and loose ends in my day… They’d organise the cover, send the invoice, and leave me to get on with important stuff. Their customer-focus would extend well beyond the sale.
Which functions (beyond sales) are the best drivers of customer-focus in your business?
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On May 18, 2012
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