Are You Being Served?

Recently we had what we are probably best suited – a deliberate pun as you will soon realise – to be one of our worst customer experiences.

In our never ending quest to look the part we decided to forgo some of our hard earned currency to purchase two new suits.

Nearly from the moment of sale there started to be problems – the post sale adjustments were not to a quality that we had seen from other tailors; the engagement of the sales staff (they forgot to call us for three weeks to say that the adjustments were ready) was on the lower side of ideal.

This all came to a head when I put my foot into the leg of the suit trouser and the seam around the ankle hem gave way.

How could this be?  

These were not inexpensive purchases – they came with the express promise that the suits would last this humble wearer for years to come.

When I put all this to the previously kind and considerate salesman (i.e. – that person that I dealt up to the point of the credit card being approved) he turned into a monster of bullying and arrogance.

The whole experience was a particularly unpleasant encounter with the dark side of customer service.

Once I gathered my composure my mind moved away from whether I looked good in the suit to what it is that actually constitutes good customer service.

And – dear Reader – I then took it one step further and considered what was good internal audit and risk management customer service.

We have all seen – and most likely delivered – the audit / risk as a business consultant not a policeman PowerPoint presentation (note to anyone that is thinking of using it – it was topical in the mid 1990s – time to move on to something better!) and sure that goes some of the way to delivering good customer service.

But surely there has to be more!

For me good internal audit and risk management customer service involves two parts.

First understanding who is the customer – it can be, and is, everyone from the Chairman of the Board to the most junior of employees.  

Those stakeholders and everyone in between have a vested interest in us – the audit and risk professionals – doing our job well because it helps them do their job better.

And second … well it actually comes down to one word: transparency.

Trust in the product that we are delivering is based, centred, founded – call it what you will – on transparency of approach and of intention.

We have seem some of the most technologically advanced audit teams that operate in a silo divorced from the business that they are seeking to serve.  

They are not serving anyone other than that ever hungry beast called ego.

So our question to you is this – what do you consider to be good internal audit and risk management customer service?

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