I hear so many comments about how the current state of customer service is poor and far below what it used to be, so I thought it was important to talk about some of the main reasons why customer service is so bad nowadays.
Here are my top 10 reasons in no particular order:
- Many people are not raised in such a way that they know how to communicate with courtesy and respect.
- Individuals are much more self-centered today than in the past, and in customer service, you need to be more other-centered.
- Even with all the MBAs that exist in the business leaders of today, too few of them truly understand the financial benefits of high levels of customer satisfaction and retention.
- Customer service still is not as sexy as sales and marketing. It seems more exciting to ring the bell with a new sale than to keep a customer by serving them well.
- Customers’ expectations for turnaround time is much higher today, and that has caused organizations – which have not changed the reality of their turnaround times and responsiveness – to meet fewer expectations.
- Since there are so many different ways to deliver customer service and deliver products with the advent of the internet, IVR telephone systems, and other technologically-driven means, with variety comes complexity, and with complexity come quality concerns and with consistency in any business.
- Organizations care too much about short-term transaction-oriented costs and too little about long-term relationship-oriented value and profitability.
- Building World Class Customer Service organizations is something that’s rarely taught from a strategic perspective.
- There is an arrogance of thought that customer service is something very easy to do and only needs to be done by low-paid, less educated individuals. In fact, delivering exceptional service can be very complex and yet very fun, and requires individuals who can quickly change their mindset, change their focus, and have a balance of technical knowledge, organizational knowledge, and customer focus.
- Most organizations, especially small businesses, are born from entrepreneurs who know how to sell, sell, sell or who love a product and want to deliver that product. These leaders are either acquisition-focused or product-focused, but to sustain those businesses, they at some point have to mature as a business and transition towards customer service and relationship building.
Service may stink out there, but those of us who care about it will always have a tremendous niche and tremendous value in the business world.
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