People want to do business with People.
Today I was discussing the underlying tenets of customer satisfaction with a couple of colleagues. We came out of the discussion with . . “the difference in XCS comes from treating customers like people as opposed to objectifying them as “customers, accounts, etc”. It sounds overly simplistic, but it’s true.
The discussion lead to a methodology by the Arbinger Institute that rang a chord with me. The methodology, as explained by my colleague, provides a better ability to control our “way of being” as opposed to controlling our actions.
It occurred to me that often our actions fall short of customer’s expectations because we are are simply acting (following the expected customer satisfaction practices) possibly lacking inner honesty. We are missing the proper “way of being”.
There are 2 ways to see people, he explains:
as Objects and
as Human beings.
You might think that one naturally treats people as human beings, but many times we don’t.
As we were in the discussion, our waiter came to the table to fill up our water glasses. I noticed that one of us acknowledged the waiter with eye contact and thanked him for the service. Then I thought – it wouldn’t be uncommon for me to simply move the glass as to make it accessible to the waiter, and accept the service without acknowledgement. This is an example of objectifying the waiter.
When we objectify people, he further explains, we can see them as:
Vehicles (sources of wanted activity)
Barriers (those people that stand in the way of what we want to happen),
The very nature of objectifying people makes us the center of focus – HOW DO THEY AFFECT ME?
This makes XCS impossible. I cannot think of the customer’s point of view, assess their expectations and exceed that expectation with a “service mindset” if I am focusing on how he or she affects me.
XCS is about treating people like human beings. Seeing their humanity before we judge how they may or may not affect us.
This is not so easy, but if we can do it, we will gain the respect and loyalty of our customers.
Customers are people too.
People want to do business with People, not companies.