Managing Director at Profusion
01 December 2008 20:13pm
I was struck by your report last week about the need for companies to focus on customer service during a recession (if not always!).
It came to my notice shortly after I'd penned some thoughts at Sandlines about why, in my view, hard times seem to lead to a decline in customer service standards (or at least our perception of them). I see it as a symptom of the distress, fear and uncertainty that we've talked ourselves into.
Is customer services suffering at the moment because:
Those organisations who do invest in providing the best customer service should surely expect to reap the benefits as consumer spending recovers?
Group Site Development Manager at Mothercare
02 December 2008 13:17pm
I would like that think its because of personnel uncertainty, but I'm sure its more down to cost cutting non-revenue generating diciplines.
I have actually noticed a distinct deterioration in customer service levels over the last year or so - good examples are with the banks (which is not surprising). I have experienced longer waiting times and less 'good will gestures' in the last month.
It is quite surprising really given that acquring new customers is so costly in the current climate, you would have thought customer satifaction would be the key (but thats short termism for you!).
02 December 2008 13:20pm
Also, in answer to your third question - I think customers are expecting more, I think this is mainly down to the internet and the proliferation of feedback on companies' poor service levels and rip-off britain.
Ecommerce Director at GAME Group plc
07 January 2009 17:12pm
I'm not sure I
can agree that customer service is suffering across the board. I put this
down to the fact that a good customer service set up is a blend of
"tech" and "human". Those organisations that can
continue to provide outstanding customer service are those that have a system
that allows the CSRs (customer service representatives) the freedom to
empathise with the customer.
Simply put -
we're human, our customers are human, we just happen to use technology to allow
us to be more efficient. If we treat our customers as we want to be
treated, we create deeper brand loyalty. By doing this we also give our
CSRs a nicer working environment as they have the power to actually help their
As the media
continues to talk us all further into a recession, I firmly believe that those
organisations that continue to cherish and reward customer attention will reap
valuable rewards. Looking to cut corners on the overall customer
experience is, to my mind a false economy.
But I digress -
what I really wanted to ask you was - who do you rate for outstanding online
customer service? Who does it well and why? My sense is that it is
the smaller players that are leading the field in these cash constrained times, but what about the bigger
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