That‘s not my responsibility. . .

By Gary Markell.

“The purpose of a business is to create a customer.”- Peter Drucker

IBMJobsGetting and keeping customers: Whose responsibility is it? Is that just the job of Sales & Marketing or the Customer Service Department?

Let’s take Peter’s statement one step further to proclaim, “The purpose of having you onboard in the business is to help in that finite goal of creating a customer”.

What is the #1 job of every single person at every company? To “get and keep customers”. That’s it! It’s the highest priority for every individual, from the CEO to the part-time cleanup crew. Now I’m sure, you are already starting to think, “I never even see the customer”, or “I work in operations”. We all should be thinking about how we all ultimately help to get and keep customers, because the reality remains that your paycheck comes from the customer. Whether your company provides a product, a service or both, any or all company employees can be laid off if enough customers decide to take their business elsewhere.

The Butterfly Effect. Everything you do eventually affects the growth of your company’s business, because it ultimately does one of two things: It either helps to create a better client experience or it helps to lesson it. Your work matters. It matters more than you may imagine. Ask yourself this question: “By being here and doing my job, do I make a positive impact in my company?. The conglomeration of jobs within your company combine to create one complete organism. We all have either a direct or an indirect effect upon whether customers find value in giving us their business.

Glean information. If you are directly dealing with the end customer, ask questions. If you are not, but you are managing people, ask questions. If you do not manage a group, ask your boss how you can best improve upon what you are currently doing. (don’t wait for your review, call or email your superior today) You can never improve upon anything that you do not first understand. People respect managers who are not afraid to stir up the pot. Instead they are establishing that they are also interested in improving business by having the best department/company possible. This proactive approach will always attract respect.

by Public Domain
by Public Domain

Creating your culture. It comes from within. It begins with you. Culture is born from every single person. Your internal culture dramatically affects how customers end up getting served and treated. Remember the Honey vs. Vinegar scenario? Not to be over simplistic here but often times it needs to be restated. This concept can be implemented within every single manager’s leadership philosophy. Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect within your team motivates everyone. A positive reward-based leadership philosophy with proactive two-way inner communications is infinitely more effective, than dictatorial, overbearing styles. You simply will get more out of individuals and teams if they feel that you sincerely value them. By the way, “Reward-based” does not mean just giving money away. Sometimes non-monetary rewards such as vocal recognition, praise, preferred parking, a special day off, increased opportunities, etc. can even be more motivating than money.

Be positive about your work. Be positive because of you. Don’t expect someone else to evoke it. Thomas Edison was one of the most ridiculed men on the planet while he tried to invent the light bulb. His neighbors, friends and family kept telling him, “You have to get to a point where you realize Thomas, it just isn’t going to work”. After 500 failures he still continued on. They persisted, trying to help him out exhorting that, enough is enough! 1,000 failures and he continued on. Now they were really frustrated with him! He kept on because he knew that there were more options and he “preferred” to think positive. After over 3,000 failures he found the correct filament that worked. As it did with Mr. Edison, positive thinking has to come from within. Those 3,000 so called failures were viewed by Edison as 3,000 stepping stones to the solution.

Bottom line? Take pride in every aspect of your role. Every single person needs to help to GET and KEEP customers by doing all they can to deliver excellence within their job, contribute to a positive culture, and at the end of the day, add value to their department and company.


About Gary Markell

Gary MarkellGary Markell is a senior recruiter with IBM working within GBS, Global Business Services division. With over 20 years experience starting his recruiting career in 1993, Gary Markell has been a full life cycle recruiter, Account Manager, Director of financial Services Recruiting, and in past owned his own recruiting agency for over 6 years. He has over 15 years working in Information Systems recruiting, and 3 plus years in banking recruitment. He has also limited experience recruiting in Retail, Life Sciences, and Pharmaceutical domains. Through MRI, Management Recruiters International, he became a CSAM, Certified Senior Account Manager. Gary Markell has served as trainer, mentor many times. Father of eight, he resides in Southeast Michigan with his wife Cristita and three youngest children, C.J., Anna and Timothy. He is active in church, as part of the choir and worship team, and has served in mission work in his past. Connect with him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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