When poll results leak, it is prudent to be curious concerning who leaked the results? Any person who has taken to the polls to vote for the leader of their choice, would naturally be interested in the results regardless of whether they have leaked or they are official. Your customers vote for your brands and they are interested in their poll results whether leaked or official. They are interested in what the market is saying in the city streets about your company as well as the official financial statements you publish. I must admit, I do not follow much of politics but there are a couple of lessons on customer service that I learnt from politics which I would like to share here.
Politicians are servants?
Politicians just as organizations are expected to be servants; to serve the people who support their party or organization. The customers are the lifeblood of an organization, just as the electorate is the lifeblood and customers to a political party.
Servants have voting rights!
While citizens vote for political leaders, customers also vote for service providers. They vote with their money and their feet. Unlike political polls which have a set date, customers vote on a daily basis; they have power to vote for your competition any time, any day, without waiting for a set date. Politicians have a grace period unlike organizations. They can go silent soon after being elected into office and resurface a few months before elections, campaign and still go ahead to win the elections. Organisations on the other hand have to be campaigning everyday not just in advertising talk but in walking the talk, in creating positive customer experiences, for mere talk is cheap.
Retained or detained?
Every organization as any political party, understands the value of having loyal customers. Customers should feel that your organization is worth voting for, because value is what customers pay for, as the term goes “value for money”. Customers should vote for you because they want to, not because they have no choice. Most organization survive because they are a monopoly or they got into the market first. However this should not make them complacent because the business world has moved from globalization to “globality”(borrowed from Dr Shingie Munyeza) where organizations are now competing with the rest of the world against the same standards. Challenges that we fail to solve in our country can invite solutions from other parts of the world as is the case of generators to alleviate electricity challenges.
Whatever happened to the word ‘integrity’?
In customer service as it is also in politics, it is important to deliver on your promises. Do what you say you will do. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Don’t over promise and under deliver. Be a person of your word as God is. God says “I watch over my word to perform it” (Jeremiah 1v12, Ezekiel 12v25). This means that God takes his word seriously and is a servant to his word. He has exalted his word above himself (Psalm 138v2). In other words; if he said it, he is obligated to fulfill it. “His word does not return to him void without accomplishing the purpose for which he sent it” (Isaiah 55v11). This in a nutshell is called INTEGRITY. Integrity is doing the right things even if no one is watching.
Organisations carry out their campaigns as politicians do, through advertising. Much of it is cosmetic and is only done for the sake that they want to benefit from the customers, not that they really have customers’ interests at heart. On the other hand however, customers care about customer care and customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. To a business as in politics, a customer is always right and has the power to make or break your profits through their vote. Why not genuinely start to listen to your customers today!
Where do you stand?
It is funny how people point fingers at politicians for their supposedly lack of integrity yet we do not see the shortfalls we have in our own organizations, families and communities. Without justifying the actions of some unscrupulous politicians, people who see the speck in the eyes of politicians, do not see the logs that are in their own eyes when they do misleading adverts, are unfaithful to their spouses or even neglect their parents in the rural areas. Before you judge others if they are worth voting for, ask yourself “am I worth voting for?” Will my family vote for me that I am the best mother/dad they could ever ask for, will my employer vote for me that I am the most productive employee they have ever had, the list goes on…..
We all have a part to play in making our country a tourist destination of choice, the bread basket of Africa by exhibiting true servanthood. If we stop saying “something must be done” but rather say “I must do something”, we can achieve more meaningful results. Do something today to make your family, organization, community and customers cast their vote in your favour, then go ahead and cast yours in favour of another who deserves. Then of course wait for the results, whether leaked or official….
Disclaimer. The views expressed in this article are not politically motivated and do not intend to discredit any person, political party or organization.