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28 June 2021

Florent BARDET (TBS 2020) - The relationship between employees and customers

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There is no favourable wind for someone who does not know where he is heading !

- Seneca -


In my previous article, I insisted on the importance of having an effective information system, that is, one that is customer-oriented and therefore allows efficient connections between the customer's needs and the ability of the company to satisfy them. In the same way, it is important to make connections between people : between staff and customers.  

This connection, in other words, the simple, instantaneous perception of needs, or even better, anticipation of needs between two individuals or groups of individuals reduces the efforts of management teams. Let's compare this principle with how your thermodynamic water boiler works in your basement : on the one hand, it cools the room down while heating your water on the other hand. This exchange is of mutual benefit to both, at minimum cost. The impression of effort (work) is less when we know why we are doing it, and even lesser when we can personalize it and humanize it. 

It is fundamental that every member of staff knows which customers they are working for. Today, the notion of meaning of work is so important, vital even, in business. The course can be set in a complex, changing environment that can often be difficult to apprehend in a simple way. 

This requirement also replies to the increasing desire for entrepreneurship, characterized by becoming your own boss, taking stock of your own future and taking the risk of building your own customer base. In companies, it is possible to get closer to this characteristic by putting the focus on the service provided and the positive feedback. Feedback can also be negative and creates the opportunity to apply self-analysis. It is the mirror effect. 

To make things simpler and more effcient, particularly in larger structures, this connection must be applied between groups of employees who are respectively internal customers and suppliers. They are easily identified on a daily basis and their relationship is stable and "visible". It "just" means that all the links in the chain network must provide the connection between the employee and the end customer. 

It is the responsibility of the Customer Satisfaction Manager to ensure that this network works. The role involves maintaining the connection between customers' expectations and the ability of teams to satisfy them. It also implies passing on information from those in contact with the customers. Every now and then, it is up to managers to remind teams of what customers would be thinking if they were sitting next to the employees. Would the customer be prepared to pay for such and such actions and would they agree with certain decisions ?

In the same way that customer satisfaction is measured with Net Promotor Scores, companies can measure NPS for employees (e-NPS) or alternatively set up a regular process whereby commitment is measured (for example, a Gallup survey).

This mutual commitment between employees and customers is key to building customer centricity. 



This article was written by Florent BARDET and published on LinkedIn on 6th June 2021

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