The Customer is the King – ahh don’t start. The last time I saw a notice with the same words – “The Customer is the King”, was in a shop which has closed its doors due to the fact that the Customers decided to find another Kingdom to inhabit.
This story – “The Customer is King, but there is a King Maker” by Ukamaka Olisakwe, rightly captures the realities behind the scene as seen not just in the Banking sector, but in almost all Businesses across all the sectors in our beloved Nation – Nigeria.
“Our emotions determine our moods which determine how we serve. There is just little much our sensibilities can take. Because while you strive to keep the positive spirit, you get hit by the nausea that comes with under-appreciation, especially when your employer pays bonuses to the “full staff members”, while you, the under-paid outsourced staff, who does the job of a full staff, who is paid 30% the salary of the entry-level full staff, who faces the customers, who can kill the business “maintains” because “good things cometh to those who wait upon the Lord.” You struggle against these forces, against sexual abuses or victimisation. And then you explode. And your customers suffer.” ~ Ukamaka Olisakwe.
Gone are the days that the customer was crowned the King. Now the mood and background activities in the lives of the server (– in this case the underappreciated, over worked, underpaid bank worker) sets the tone of the business.
Customer Service has really gone to the dogs and the humble dog is almost finishing the last bit of the bones. If care is not taken, the juicy bone would not be recognisable even if it is hurriedly taken off the dog’s teeth, and trust me, you better not joke with a sleeping dog with a piece of bone clad to his mouth.
Customer Service Surveys
To my humble self, often times, the surveys carried out by these great firms like KPMG as mentioned in the article sometimes beggars believe, and raises some questions that even the Management that commissions the surveys already know, but are too occupied with trying to chase the horse as the stable has been left open for a long time.
With the rate at which insider knowledge and hanky-panky shenanigans are been carried out in many business sector, one begins to ask some questions such as these:
- Are these Customer Service surveys done just for the “rating” purposes, or
- Are they done to make sure that their friends in the highest places – these days popularly referred to as the “Ogas At The Top” are happy that work is been done, or
- Are they done to increase the shareholders’ confidence, or
- Are they carried out to empower their executive friend’s, concubines? Like Ukamaka Olisakwe rightly asked – “why would a bank outsource their staff from companies owned by their executive directors, or managing directors (as was the case of Cecilia Ibru), or relatives/wives and friends of these directors?
To really get to the best part of the onions, these Companies carrying out the surveys should not just use a “face-lit strategy”, they should delve into the minds and psyche of these underappreciated Staff members, and get the best knowledge of Customer Satisfaction, and after all, A Sublette staff member (aka Contract Staff) is also a Customer!
Like we see in all the Police Stations across the Country – “Bail Is FREE”, but in reality, the Officer on duty determines the PRICE of your bail (of course after taking into account who you brought to bail you, the kind of properties you have on you, your physical dependencies, the tone of your grammar and language, etc).
Until we get things right, the reality of the “Customer is King” slogan will still be an illusion because the silent and underappreciated worker will always remain the King Maker.
Please savour this great article by Ukamaka Olisakwe – The Customer is King, but there is a King Maker.