Hard work, leadership for excellent customer service
JEDDAH — “The customers is always right” – it’s a saying that many companies say they believe in, but rarely implemented. Most companies in the Middle East and Gulf region do not always care about the quality of their customer service, even though they care about their clients.
Ahmad Tahlak, the chairman and president of Levenbert, an organization that works in consultancy services based in Dubai, said there are many reasons for the poor level of customer service in the Arab world, including a lack of proper investment in training and development of employees and leaders, the concept of excellence in service is not emphasized, a lack of communication skills, less emphasis on improving customer service, and a lack of leaders in the service industry.
Tahlak said he believes that to solve the issue of poor quality customer service, companies and government organizations must build a service culture as part of their corporate culture.
“We need to set the vision for excellence service and we need to set the right key performance indicators to make sure the quality of service is monitored all the time at all levels at all customer contact channels. Putting the customer in the middle of our plans to make sure we satisfy the customer first. We need customer service excellence leaders on the ground. Dubai is a great example of excellence in customer service as part of daily life,” he said.
Tahlak believes that having superior quality customer service needs planning and hard work.
“Excellence customer service doesn’t just happen over night. It needs dedicated people, proper processes, and advanced technology to make it happen,” he said.
Levenbert runs several courses that focus on improving the quality of customer service, and include an excellence in customer service course that will be also be coming to Jeddah this year.
“To ensure high quality of service is more about creating long term programs for all levels in the organization. Such programs focus on Leadership, team building, motivation, on job coaching, quality management, setting targets and objectives, maintaining key performance indicators, and developing service cultures,” he said.
Resistance to change can be a problem when companies try to improve their customer service, but Tahlak said he believes that the new generation thinks differently and are ready to welcome new changes with open arms.
“We are extremely delighted the new practical approach of Generation X and the way they are engulfing the organization with change implementation. A lot of credit goes to the reason that the new generation believe in sharing knowledge, benchmarking, travel, conferences, communicating with others, and so on. That is why we feel it is much easier now than 10 years ago,” he said.
Tahlak said leadership was an important role, particularly women leadership in organizations, and that he believes women are playing a key role, whether it is a family, organization or nation.
“We have seen women facing a lot of challenges in terms of work-pay, making several career adjustments due to commitment towards their family, kids, etc. Our women leadership programs are specifically made to help them develop skills to overcome challenges that they face at work,” he said.