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A message from the worker bee’s – A customer service lesson

The job of a worker bee is: tending and feeding young bees (larvae), making honey, making royal jelly and bee bread to feed larvae, producing wax, cooling the hive by fanning wings, gathering and storing pollen, nectar and water, guarding the hive, building, cleaning and repairing the comb, and feeding and taking care of the queen and drones.

This being said let’s take this example and corporatize it:

Worker bee – an employee that is working to attain success and performs specific tasks that are at par or above expectation for an organization he/she works for. Taking this reference let’s focus on customer service.

Customer facing employees play an integral role that sets a company apart from others. The attitude he or/she has a direct effect on attaining or retaining customers. All business units would have to be in sync and work towards the common goal –i.e. generate revenues or in the bee world it would be to generate honey.

Customer service/ Customer facing personnel are regarded as the one of the most important group/individuals in an organization. The investment a company makes in training and educating customer service professionals when dealing with customers is crucial. This is because they are representing the organization they work for to the outside world. The message they convey has to be consistent and positive. Going back to our bee hive analogy, a disconnect between a worker bee and the queen bee would cause complete chaos. If  a lack of communication and coordination exists among them, it would dismantle the inner structure of the organization. A bee hive works as a well oiled industrial machine/organization!, It embodies an order of process and each member of the hive is directed to perform a task. If tasks are not cohesively conducted, a complete chaos would occur and dismantle the inner structure of the organization.

Referring to the organizational lessons from the bee hive example and applying it to customer relations, In reality, it is not uncommon to find that companies forget  to follow the same principles the following key rules of engagement when dealing with their customers which results in a disconnect and causes chaos/loss of revenue aka honey!  Some of the key issues that customer service should avoid at all cost are:

Not Listening
Of all the mistakes that we make in business, not listening to our customers would have to be near the top. Whether we are handling a complaint or simply trying to make a sale, listening closely to our customers is the most vital skill that employees must learn.

Being Rude or Short
If we have someone as the face of our business in a meeting or on the phone, they simply must be kind and considerate. There is absolutely no excuse for taking out a bad day on a customer.

Not Understanding Our Product or Services
Another very common customer service mistake involves not having adequate knowledge of products and services. Training service professionals on products and services is crucial.

Not Knowing When to Escalate the Problem
Some problems are best handled by upper management. It is very important that our frontline customer service representatives understand what types of problems fits this criteria. This can only be accomplished by training and experience. Management should be involved in gauging and addressing the issues that come up from time to time and to also be in-sync with the changing business environment.

Improper Follow Through
Another common customer service problem involves not following through after the initial customer conversation. If a promise is made to a customer, it should be our top priority to follow through.

In today’s competitive business world, retaining your customer base is critical to your success. If you don’t give customers a good reasons to stay, competitors will give them a reason to leave. Customer retention and satisfaction drive profits. It’s far less expensive to cultivate your existing customer base and sell more services to them than it is to seek new, single-transaction customers.

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