If you are not a company like Apple and Google or another innovative enterprise working in blue oceans, and like most, you are in a red ocean with tough competition, you cannot ignore the efficiency factor when you are delivering customer service, in other words, you cannot seek solely customer service excellence without regard to the cost consequences, and the thriving of the company.

Faced with what may seem like a dilemma?

But, it need not be that customer service and efficiency are pulling in opposite directions. The dilemma exists for those that face the matter superficially. For those prepared to deeply examine it, from dilemma it becomes a challenge: How to get the two aligned and mutually supportive.

How then can a company become both? Accept that the middle road and the lukewarm status quo many companies find themselves in is not a satisfying state of affairs.

For a successful business, you have to work on the two simultaneously and to make the one feed the other.

So, on the one hand, you have to become a robust company by shedding excesses, slimming procedures, emphasizing and doing what matters and not what was in the past usually done, delegate to upgrade responsibilities and align deeds and actions with strategy and most importantly raise management and leadership to levels that will glue the company together.

On the other hand, pay attention to the customer service side: work on the culture and Introduce “customer experience” as a guiding beacon for your people; make customer handling not a wasteful unproductive activity of endless listening and aimless conversations but turn it into understanding customer needs that will form the basis of customer problem resolution and subsequent customer delight; learn to adapt to the customer wants and priorities overcoming the pulling force of existing systems that they want you to deliver only what they were designed for.

Additionally, use both hands together and get feedback from the one into the other in a cycle of continuous improvement for your processes and your customer responses.

Be courageous and dare, even when small, to rethink and redesign your processes bearing in mind that satisfying customer responses can only result from effectiveness in processes and that effectiveness is only meaningful when it addresses customer needs and wishes.

For those with further interest in the topic or in other management services: Panikos Sardos is the Managing Director of P&E Sardos Business Solutions Int., a management consulting firm that offers advisory services, coaching and training and can be reached by email: or telephone: +357 99640912, +357 24400884,