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Customer service, hall of shame or hall of fame?

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MARKETINGMAG - Issue No.13

”The game has changed and there is no room for complacency in the customer service arena.” We all talk about the importance of customer service and how critical it is for the success of our business. But do we actually walk the talk? How much are we investing in our customer service across all levels of the organisation? And are we doing enough?

There are successful companies that put the customer experience among their top strategic priorities; others use their customer service as a point of differentiation.
What are the customer service practices that would definitely send any business straight into the Hall of Shame? Analysis of what the companies who made the list of customer service Hall of Shame and the ten all-time worst customer service practices written by customer experience consultant Micah Solomon suggests the following main “No-No’s” of customer service:

  • Inability to hire employees with the right personality and attitude for customer-facing jobs.
  • Failing to realize that customer service training is a continuous process and not a one- off solution.
  • Failure to acknowledge and concede to the customers’ point of view, let alone seeing from the customers’ perspectives.
  • No consistency of customer experience across different channels.
  • Lack of transparency and suspicious behavior.
  • Companies in a monopoly or limited competitive environment usually do not offer good service, as the customers have no choice but to buy their products or use their services. When competition does arrive, it is too late!
  • Misunderstanding and failure to be realistic with time such as processing time, delivery time and waiting time.
  • Not upgrading the skills of all those involved in customer service as the customers become more knowledgeable, with easy access to information through the net, about products and services.

Poor customer service definitely implies unnecessary costs for the companies such as the cost of acquiring new customers to replace those lost due to poor service, the cost of lost referrals and of course the collateral damage to your brand and the loss in revenue. In today’s hyper-connected world with the widespread use of mobile and social media, any experience with your company, good or bad, can be easily known across a wide span of communities of people across the world within seconds!  You can either choose to gain or lose customers, so what will it be for you: Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame?



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