“All the money you’re ever going to have is currently in the hands of someone else’s” – Earl Nightingale.
Now throw out the Suggestion Box and listen to your customers if you want to stay alive!
Before you start this piece you need a word of caution. That means there will be parts of this piece you won’t like. It will make you blow your emotional gasket easily without notice.
Why would I say that? Why would any writer begin his writing by telling his readers they won’t like what he’s about to write? Because you will find out soon enough anyway, and I think you should be forewarned.Telling you this up front just seems more honest to me.
Now to begin with I think you’re a thief!
“What? Hold it! How dare you called me a thief! You don’t even know me!”
Anytime you don’t give your best effort at work, you’re practically stealing from your company and co-workers because they have to pick up your slack. You steal from your customers because they pay retail for your best effort with the hope that they will get a better service from you.And, it doesn’t matter if you work for the government or you’re a self-employed.
Remember customers don’t do business with companies; they do with the employees of the company. And, they pay your salary and define the market share of your service or products.
Now that we have that out of the way, can you tell already that this is not going to be your typical article to read today?
I hope so!
However, don’t delete this; you might like parts of it.
This piece is for you if you work for a living, have ever worked for a living, or ever planned on working for a living. It’s for young adults who are straight out of college and about to start their first real jobs. It’s for the CEO who has been around for five decades. It’s for the receptionist, secretary, the salesperson, the stock clerk, and the janitor and anyone who has a job---whether you manage others or others manage you.
Now let’s get started. Let me beat you up, tick you off, and possibly teach you something along the way about things you probably know already, but didn’t know you do.
To begin with, we should understand why we all get up and go to work every day. Supposedly, there are three basic reasons why we go to work:
1. To keep our existing customers.
2. To create new customers
3. To make yourself and your organization (company) the kind that other people are dying to do business with.
This is it!
Those are the reasons you go to work every single day. Of course, I know many of you will immediately vow or swear and put their hands on the Bible to reject these reasons by saying you do not have customers because you probably work for the government, but you do. Everyone has customers unless you’re blood donor. You might call them something else, but you still have them.You might call them clients, patients, students, audience, spectators, fans, listeners, consumers or co-workers or employees.
The thing to remember is this: As long as you’re providing a service you have customers. We all have to serve “somebody”, and in business that somebody is called ‘a customer’. Did you get it? Good!
And businesses exist because of customers, not employees.
Customers determine whether or not to increase supply, hire more workers, deliver shareholders’ dividends, build more factories and warehouses, relocate, or make more music albums.
Therefore customers should be treated like kings and queens if we want to stay in business. The problem is we forget that while we still want to create more jobs. This is one thing Ghanaians don’t get and it’s the reason why there are no jobs in Ghana.
Forget the one- district- one- factory policy if we’re not willing to change.
The funny thing most of us do in this part of the world about work is that we lie to our significant others when we say we’re going ‘to work’.
Most studies say that people actually work only about half of the time they are on the job. We spend the major part of the work hours to goof-off.
You know about goofing-off, don’t you? You do it about half of the time when you’re “at work”. Yes, only half of the time is spent at work the rest is for socializing, eating, griping, working on lottery numbers, writing e-mails, gossiping, surfing the web, drinking coffee, Whatsapping, Facebooking, daydreaming, going to the bathroom more than you need to, etc. And you’re stretching every thirty minutes break to fifty minutes and lunch hour to seventy-five minutes. I’m not even putting in the time you use faking illness.
This translates into a fifty percent effort from 100 percent of the employees. And the reason this is unchecked is that every person in the company (or organization) is doing it — from the janitor to the CEO and driver to the mail man and from the K-G 1 teacher to the head teacher.
When everyone works half of the time, it takes twice as many people to do the work. That translates to higher payroll expenses, higher insurance costs, higher taxes, and higher prices. The high cost of doing business in Ghana is the result of lazy people like you working. Oh, you surely don't want to know the long -term effects of lazy workers on our education system, health, and longevity.
You were hired to generate more revenue for your company than you cost the company. Your contribution must outweigh the expenses your company makes on you. You do that by not goofing –off but doing the assigned tasks in a fast, efficient, cost-effective way. You do that by being proficient at doing the right things. You know you’re doing a great job when your customers are happy and become your company’s evangelists.
You know you’re doing a great job when you can do the following:
1. When you can satisfy your ‘customers’ needs, want, or desire.
2. When you have a great product that is easy to use or purchase.
3. When you can make a customer’s life better, or improving the personal or professional condition of the purchaser.
4. Solve a customer’s problems that sometimes the customer doesn’t know he has because quality product or service alone doesn’t guarantee success.
In fact, in Ghana productivity and customer service is poor!
Do you want me to prove it?
Well, what have you accomplished today at work? Seriously! What have you done that actually contributes to the bottom line of your company or organization that writes you a check every month? You are the only one who will know right now, so go ahead and ask, “What have I done today to improve my customer’s satisfaction?” Go ahead now, I have got time because I’m just goofing –off just like you. What have you done?
Folks, the statistic is out from Social and Economic Research Institute of the University of Ghana: It states that only 10 percent of our college graduates find jobs after graduation in their first year. That means a whopping ninety percent of our graduates have no jobs—they’re home goofing -off. That is very alarming and a national security issue but no one cares.
There are no jobs in Ghana because of the following reasons:
1. We tolerate poor performance.
2. We don’t teach people how to be good workers and provide superb customer service in our educational institutions.
3. Low standard and low expectations are expected from employers and workers.
4. We reward people for the wrong reasons.
5.We’re devoid of integrity or have developed an entitlement syndrome.
By the way, have you ever had to get your driver’s license renewed or register your vehicle? As soon as you walk into the DVLA office you get the feeling, “this is not going to be a pleasant day for me”.
What about your experience at the government’s hospitals? Don’t even go there! Our nurses are so hostile to patients and devoid of empathy and humility to the point that they want to be super humans. Their ‘customers’ (patient’s) needs are not part of their agenda. Ironically, they’re ones who are crying every day for employment. What employment? You’re not ready to work.
In effect, customer -service suffers when employees don’t perform. And once productivity goes down business growth goes down. It’s that simple.
Therefore, if we want to create more jobs in Ghana we better have to start teaching in our school system (from elementary schools all the way up in our universities) how to do a great work and please our customers along the way. That is the only solution.
The point is shopkeepers, bank tellers, taxi drivers and government workers have to deal with members of the public but often they fail to please their clientele, either with inefficiency or bad attitude .But they forget that a superb customer service is the lifeblood of any business.
With that I’d like to leave you with this: The best way to get rich in an old-fashioned way is to find solutions to people’s problems and make them happy.
The author, Kwaku Adu-Gyamfi, describes himself as “a social commentator”.
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