In one of his latest blogs, Seth Godin highlights the poor customer service that we all put up with, and I really have to agree with him on this.
One thing that really hacks me off is this:
Many businesses and organisations will claim that directing us to their website when we have a query, or their FAQ’s, is much better for us in terms of customer service. But it’s not!
They’re just forcing us to do anything but talk to a human. And why is that? Because humans cost much more to run than a computer program.
Using technology is about saving costs, not improving customer service. But is it about saving costs? Perhaps using technology is more costly than using a human.
Of course it’s great to use an ATM machine to draw out some cash rather than stand in a line at the bank. And yes; it’s really convenient to order products and services online, or do financial transactions. But it’s all gone too far.
A frustrated or annoyed customer who isn’t getting the service they deserve and can’t talk to someone about it, is going to be very costly to the organisation.
They may not buy the product or service again. There’s a good chance they’ll whinge to other people. And don’t even think about trying to sell them other products and services!
‘Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.’ ~ Bill Gates
But hey! What am I complaining about; poor customer service puts money in my bank.
I spend much of my time running customer service programs for all kinds of organisations. Retail outlets, industrial organisations, lawyers, accountants and even hospital staff.
But often it turns out not to be so much about customer service, but more about how to deal with difficult customers.
And of course, the customers are “difficult” because they have been let down by the core service of the organisation. It could be something wrong with the product or service, or the communications they’ve had with the people in the organisation.
On a personal note, I want better customer service. But from a business point of view, let it continue to fail, and I’ll continue to help customer service people say – ‘Please don’t go away!’