Primarily my Customer Service mission was started because I was so exasperated by falling standards in the UK and even though I’ve discovered a lot of lovely companies along the way, the same old shameful companies are still out there, making the same old shameful mistakes.
Here are my thoughts on the 5 biggest errors.
More than ever before I believe that companies, particularly larger ones, just do not have the ability to listen to their customers. They claim they do so and market themselves accordingly but in reality, they may hear their customers but they are never really listening. Good customer service involves actively taking on board what is said and acting promptly and accordingly. It is not a box ticking marketing exercise and should not be treated as such.
It never ceases to amaze me how many companies continue to trade on a day-to-day basis blindly believing that they are offering the best Customer Service possible when the evidence to the contrary is indisputable. Any company worth its salt will welcome feedback from customers and will act on it to improve their product or service. Those that do not, run the risk of one day becoming victims of their own arrogance in an ever changing and increasingly competitive market.
Increasingly when I contact companies, it is the tone of the Customer Service response, which can make all the difference and I’m often left wondering if they are interested in making any money at all. Whether in writing or over the telephone, some companies still do not appreciate that regardless of whose fault the problem is, their job is to deal with it, ensure the problem does not happen again and by doing so, restore customer faith in the company regardless of their own personal opinion on the matter.
The problem with a lot of companies is that they may sometimes manage to deliver excellent Customer Service but they do not consistently do so. In order to ensure an excellent Customer Service experience time and time again, companies need to be open and honest in their approach, learn from mistakes made, always aspire to exceed customer expectations in behaviour, attitude and service and above all, focus on the basics of Customer Service. By this I mean delivering a quality product or service at a fair price in a reasonable time, reliably and efficiently and without any issues.
This is by far the biggest Customer Service mistake of all and it is the one which will be the most costly in the long term but not just in terms of money. Failing to do the job properly in the first place just causes problems further down the line with products and services being poorer quality and the overall customer experience taking a major hit as a result. In extreme cases, cutting costs can cost lives and it’s about time companies realised this, took some responsibility, changed their priorities and made essential changes to their practices to avoid tragic events such as the Grenfell Tower fire ever happening again.
So there it is, the 5 biggest Customer Service mistakes companies make. Do you agree?