“An assembly or gathering of people; a coming together.“
There is no denying that Mr. Webster is a whole lot smarter than I am but not when it comes to the correct definition of a meeting.
Not in the business world.
A meeting in the business world is not a coming together of people. It is a coming apart of people. It’s an event in which the customer service provider, be it a bank or insurance company or brokerage company or the office over at the union or the packing house, gets a lot of employees together to talk about getting more business.
That sounds like a good idea but the problem with these meetings is that they take place during business hours. That’s when it becomes a coming apart and not a coming together.
This is because the customer service provider cannot talk to the customer who is being told by the administrative assistant that the service provider is in a meeting. I bet you’ve experienced that before when you absolutely had to get in touch of someone. “Sorry, he’s in a meeting.”
Let’s think about that for one second.
- The service provider is in a meeting
- The meeting is about getting more business
- A customer, or potential customer is calling the provider
- The service provider, cannot talk to the customer because he/she is in a meeting trying to figure out how to get more customers
- The customer is then told by the administrative assistant or receptionist or someone that the desired person is in a ‘meeting’
The company then loses the caller to a competitor. But give them credit! They didn’t lose the caller/customer because the competitor had better service and prices. No, they did it the easy way.
They ran the customer off all by themselves. And in addition to that all the meeting attendees will be scrambling after the meeting to return calls and put out fires. It’s just another in an endless line of examples of how customer service today is misunderstood and miserable.
AND a tremendous opportunity.
If you are going to have meetings about how to get more customers, you might want to think about a better arrangement. In my experience, the most effective meetings are:
- After or before business hours . If this is protested that means you have ACSD’s on your team
- Less meetings. Once a week defeats the purpose. Quality is better than frequency
- You and your attendees should make ongoing notes for the meetings. See to it that they participate.
And the most important piece of the meeting?
If a customer calls get up from the meeting and take the call!