|photo by Here’s Kate||via PhotoRee|
Lately the topic of customer service has been top of mind for me, being from the perspective of someone who has to be on the receiving end of this concept. I am always amazed when I am treated to great customer service. When this happens it not only makes my day that much better, but it also makes me wonder why this isn’t the norm? I mean, why wouldn’t you want to make your customers happy. By doing so you increase the chance of repeat business and potentially creating a brand champion on your behalf. Granted some companies may have the enviable position of being the only provider available for the service you are seeking and knowing this may demotivate them to making your experience a great one.
An example scenario manifested itself in the last couple of weeks as my wife and I have endured a move from Chicago, IL to Denver, CO. As part of this move we were set up with a choice of two moving companies provided by my wife’s new company. Once the contract was locked in the issues began. The moving company first missed their delivery window and never reached out to us, then for over 2 weeks they were unresponsive to our requests for more information. Once our goods finally arrived they gave us excuses not apologies, saying that they had a lot more business than they had expected and it put them behind by several weeks. That being said, where was the responsiveness? Where was the urgency to solve the problem that they created for us? It got me to wondering, when business is good, do companies tend to let customer service slide because they know they will be bringing in money regardless? Or are some companies just hiring the wrong “personalities” to man their customer service ranks? I have lost count of how many times I have been met with a bad attitude across the counter or over the phone from someone being paid to represent a company. They could care less about the customer’s experience, as long as they keep bringing in a paycheck. Is this a break down in that organization’s incentive or hiring process? One could argue that it’s a bigger problem with society and that people just don’t take accountability for their actions or work ethic like they used to, but I am a strong believer in incenting the behavior, and that companies do have some control over how their employees choose to interact with customers. Whether that be hiring the people with the right values match for the company or through incentives that reward the appropriate behavior.
So, should I be so shocked when I am greeted with exceptional experience? Or should I be flabbergasted at the fact that this isn’t the norm? I know there are some companies out there that through good and bad times they always put the customer experience first. So why aren’t more companies like this? Should consumers take more initiative to punish companies with poor customer service? I know I try to avoid giving business to companies who mistreat or don’t appreciate their customers.