Welcome to the twenty-eighth edition of "In Touch". As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit "reply" and let me know what you think.
Story of the Week: Actions Speak Louder than Words
Last week I received a phone call from someone asking for ‘Customer Advocate’ training. My knee-jerk reaction, by which I may well have been risking my professional reputation, was to ask the caller what exactly a ‘customer advocate’ does. I was forced to admit that I had never come across this job title before. Customer? Yes. Advocate? Yes. But never together.
The lady on the phone was the newly appointed Customer Advocate of an oncology centre and she was happy to explain what her role entails:
- Informing customers of their rights
- Defending customers
- Representing the needs of customers
- Accompanying customers on the centre’s premises
A voice inside was screaming kudos to both the oncology centre and to this particular customer advocate. Both are seeking more advocacy and, quite possibly, an enhanced reputation, given the value of word-of-mouth advertising and the fact that most of their ‘customers’ are probably fighting the most crucial battle of their lives.
This got me thinking that a mere sign celebrating the customer on our company’s wall might not be enough. Many companies talk about how much they value their customers but, in reality, the vast majority frequently ignore their customers’ needs and, when push comes to shove, are willing to hide behind the excuse of:
“It’s company policy, sorry.”
The best way to celebrate the customer, as I recently discovered, is to appoint an advocate who will use blood, sweat and tears to defend and guide customers. The management of this oncology centre had not only decided that its patients were its top priority but it knew that it needed to show it. Actions speak louder than words and for customer-centricity to take centre stage in an organization it needs to be advocated at the top and then trickle down through all the ranks.o show it. Actions speak louder than words and for customer-centricity to take centre stage in an organization it needs to be advocated at the top and then trickle down through all the ranks.
Words of Wisdom
Our actions define not only our image but also our identity:
"You are what you do, not what you say you'll do."
A Question to Ponder, dear friend.
“In your organisation, who is your customer advocate? Who takes care of your customers and defends their rights?”
Hit reply and let me know.
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