This great real-life lesson on "How to focus on your customers" was contributed by my good friend Paul Kaerger:
"My father-in-law had an issue with his van recently and it had to be recovered to the garage for some work. It took over five hours to get the insurance company and the recovery company to agree to take the van because of an internal mix up over the agreement between them.
We were on the telephone for a lot of those five hours, having to provide additional information and listen to various updates. The van was finally picked up but they have certainly lost a customer.
They forgot that their first duty was to help out their customer ... instead of making him wait while they sorted out their own problems.
It is a common problem with businesses when things go wrong. They focus so much on the fixing the internal problem that they forget that there is a customer on the end of the line.
My advice is to always deal with the customer, make sure they are happy and then clean up the mess afterwards. That way, it will be cheaper (less time on the phone to a customer) and protect business (the customer will not cancel their policy and tell everyone about the experience)."
Paul is a business consultant based in Leicester. His passion is helping your business evolve and grow. You can reach Paul by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org