My career for fourteen years has dealt with customer service and working in a business environment. One of the things I enjoy the most about such a station is meeting a variety of new people on a regular basis. As I’ve watched the evolution of my field, I have seen some things that it seems that employers and business have forgotten. I hope to remind business owners, supervisors, coaches, and that of the like to remember the important thing. While it is extremely important to have a solid customer base and an amazing product, you must remember one very important thing. You have employees and those who look towards the manager, coach, supervisor–basically, anyone in a position of authority to do the right thing. If the employee is not taken care of in a fair and respectful manner, the repercussions are not favorable in the least. The more that a company lets the treatment of their employees go to less than constructive, the business will more than likely fail eventually. Employees are needed for a business because the initial creator isn’t going to be able to handle the customer volume as a one man show. The time and energy involved makes it impossible. Therefore, employees are very much extensions of that business owner, the supervisor, and so on and so forth. Follow?
Now, I’m going to explain what could and very well happen if the business owner fails to lead by a good example. This is not a financial thing in and of itself but it can affect the finances of a business if the upper management/business owner treats their employees poorly.
Caring, Constructive, Collaborative
When a business first starts out, the creator (business owner) has a healthy amount of drive towards the right direction. He, or she, takes everything into account. The three things that I want to point on is caring, constructive, and collaborative. Caring because that person wants to ensure that everyone is taken care of: customers, employees, and potential investors. They want to see this business grow. They want to succeed. They are willing to collaborate with others in order to meet their endeavors. At the beginning of their new business, everything is high on the scale from 1 to 10.
You will notice I have a negative number which will be discussed more a bit later.
It actually can start to decline in the good category. I believe the reason that it starts to slack is that the eyes of greed sets in from what I have witnessed. It is still effective but the slope is definitely declining on the relationship between the owners and the employees. The fall in the relationship between management and employee is not a lot at the moment but it could be.
The state at which the three C’s are met at the bare minimum stage is exactly as it sounds. The owner and upper management are doing exactly what they need to keep the employees content, as far as being treated with fairness, and that is it. The morale is starting to take the down slope route and it’s just not as good as it used to be. A good way to put this into perspective is that the beginning stage of the business’ downfall is starting to commence. While the company may be doing well financially, the relationship with the employee is declining into a deconstructive state. Without that employee that was met with constructive and a collaborative mindset at the beginning, the business is declining. The customers can begin to see it occurring and that customer’s faith in the business is also starting to decline.
*Note* I am not speaking on a financial graph, just the employee and upper management relationship, but it does have an effect. It may not be an immediate effect but it will eventually grow into a much bigger scale of collapse.
The customer can see the employee as having a ‘bad attitude’. The Customer doesn’t like this attitude and conducts their business elsewhere. In a capitalistic society such as America, a consumer can always go to another business. Whatever it is your selling, remember that a customer can always go somewhere else. Never take that for granted. Give them a reason to make their choice with you because they don’t have to buy your product.
At this state of the relationship, the owner has complete disregard of the employee. He has more than likely set extreme expectations, inflexibility with working with the employees, and begins to have it in their mindset that the employee is expendable any way and “can hire anyone off the streets to do that job”.
The negative number now comes into play. The employees have begun to express their dissatisfaction, the customer service that they dispense is less than acceptable, and the only thing that might be growing is their bank accounts because now they have made their money. They’ve forgotten what has gotten them to the place where they are successful–the people that helped put them there. The morale is pretty much nonexistent and the customers that come to that business can see it as clear as day. Arrogance, uncaring, and a horrible attitude lead us to this point.
A business is defined dealings or transactions especially of an economic nature. When Sam Walton started all those years ago, he started small and eventually grew with the mindset of treating his employees with respect and fairness. I actually rather miss him because he had the right mindset and definitely would score high in the three C’s I have outlined. The point is this: if you want to succeed in your business, you need to have the right attitude and work hard. Businesses want you to have an excellent attitude while working with a team so you can collaborate on different ideas.
Sam Walton was quoted saying: “Listen to your associates. They’re the best idea generators.”
You are definitely a part of a team within a business and to have an outright disregard of your employees, you’re more than likely going to fail. No one wants to fail.
I’m touching on this subject for a very eye opening reason, from my standpoint anyway, after the past year dealing with a certain wireless carrier known to you as T-Mobile. The graph I created is very much in conjunction with my time with them. It started out from above average and now has dwindled down to the point of utter disregard. After doing a bit of searching, I found that their employees are unhappy. Could this be a reason that they’re losing me? Definitely. I discovered this website made by said “disgruntled employees” at http://weworkbettertogether.org/
Here is a video of their thoughts on T-Mobile:
The customer service department has not answered my questions nor did they act as if it mattered when I was inquiring of my cancellation date. The previous blog before this one outlines that interaction if you’re interested. The agents I spoke to were very much speaking in a humdrum, not caring fashion. Do I blame them? Not really. Will I forget this and stick with them? No, I won’t. It’s not completely the fault of the agents I interacted with this past year. However, it is the fault of T-Mobile. A disregard of their employees have snowballed into their customer service production.
So, why are you taking the time to write all this? Don’t you have anything better to do?
Actually, I am a writer so that is neither here nor there. I’m writing this because maybe one of the upper management types will read this and remember. I hope to help them remember the reason they started T-Mobile in 1990. I hope they realize that in 2007 when I first started with them, their customer service was top notch, their product was amazing, and I could tell they cared. It’s been dwindling to the -0.2 percent over the years and now the reason shows. Yes, make a profit. You’re a business and you’re supposed to do that. However, don’t do it at the expense of being caring, constructive, and collaborating with your employees. It’s very detrimental.
My average mobile bill is about 130 per month. Over seven years? $10,920. I’m pretty sure that’s a substantial amount of money no matter what side of the tracks you live. I would have stayed after speaking with them today if they had met me halfway instead of reading me a bunch of jargon, not even answering the question I asked in the first place. Your accountants can write down in your losses that – over the next seven years – you lost nearly $11,000 dollars from me. And if you ask why? Just re-read this blog. It explains it quite clearly. At the end of the day, your associates and agents represent you. Make them good ones. I honestly hope that you do.
P.S. And if you take the profit you lost from me, multiply by ever how many other people stop using T-Mobile because of this….well…..I’ll give you a hint….two other friends are leaving…in less than 24 hours….