As customers we have all experienced bad customer service at some point. The impact of this negative experience can range from minor grumbling to completely walking away from a given brand or product (ask me why I won’t buy another Ford).
In this poor economy leaders often fall back to looking at customer service as a cost center and this viewpoint is common across the public and private sector. The focus shifts to revenue generating activities like giving out more parking tickets or rushing products to market. Customer service organizations see reductions in headcount, lower quality tools, and lack of training as the customer service organization is not seen as the revenue generators.
This is clearly not a smart decision in most cases and new research makes it clear that “Customer Service Is Crucial To Repeat Business and Profitability“. According to this research “61% of Americans report that quality customer service is more important to them in today’s economic environment, and will spend an average of 9% more when they believe a company provides excellent service“. Combine this with the fact that more than 80% of consumers use recommendations from friends or family in the decision-making process and it is easy to understand why bad customer service can easily lead to poor sales, lost customers, and ultimately to lay-offs and company closure. Did I go too far?
When I talk to organizations about Social Support Communities I like to point out that poor customer service costs companies $83 Billion annually. $83 billion, that is a number that should catch your eye. As you look at where you are making cuts in your organization weigh the short-term and long-term impact of these cuts. If you do not, you’re going to end up being one of those companies being discussed in next years studies.