While some companies have refocused their efforts on the people who are paying their bills, what have you done to show that you care about your customers?
Most people have experienced the annoying four-hour appointment windows that somehow “service providers” (loosely stated) still manage to miss. And many consumers have been stuck in an endless phone loop. They’re desperately trying to speak with a person while the automated service does everything but transfer them.
It’s not a universal problem, and certainly, there are some companies that treat customers well. But poor customer service happens often enough that nearly everyone is familiar with it.
“We are living in a crisis of customer service. Manners are worse than ever. The bar has been lowered and we expect to be on hold for 15 minutes or more.” This, by Ask April advice columnist April Masini in an email to The Motley Fool. “Vendors require your compliance to their delivery schedule and not the other way around.” On the upside, I was on hold with GoDaddy for a total of 25 seconds the last time that I had a question about my account. They have learned how to keep their customers happy.
Which companies are the biggest offenders?
The biggest offenders are those who hold a monopoly in any one market. They don’t have to worry about people going somewhere else. If we don’t like how they treat us there is nowhere else to go. Say, for example, that you only had one choice for cable installation. More than likely, you were forced to put up with missed appointment windows.
It’s confounding, but it should not be surprising, according to Chiranjeev Kohli, a Cal State Fullerton marketing professor who told The Motley Fool via email that in the end, it all comes down to money and the fact that bad customer service does not always have the negative impact you would expect.
“Companies look at their bottom line. As margins get squeezed, customer service comes on the radar as a possible line item that can be cut. And, since it can be quite expensive, it is a tempting target,” he wrote. “Also, while the general impression may be that customer service is critical, evidence often suggests otherwise – particularly for a segment of the consumers.”
The second biggest offenders are those that know that switching from one company to its competitor is a royal pain in the butt. These customers feel stuck and hate thinking about staying and leaving. Darned if they do, darned if they don’t. It’s not a very enjoyable circumstance. It’s 2016 people! We’re better than that!
Of course, 4x Buyer Protection gives business owners the ability to provide four valuable, much-appreciated services to their potential and current customers. This one service alone can put a mediocre company at the top of the success pyramid. Benefits like shipping insurance and identity theft protection are sought after more and more by wise, competent online consumers.
Special thanks to Daniel B. Kline for sharing his content with us.