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�Customer Dis-Service�: Is Customer Service Dead In The USA?

Date Added: November 04, 2009 03:05:59 PM
Author: Casey Jones
Category: Shopping

In an era of unprecedented technology and communications tools, one would think that customer service would improve or at best, remain stable. Sadly, this is not the case. Many believe that the decline in customer service is due in part to the language barriers that exist between consumers in the USA and foreign call centers. While this may be true for some industries, it�s only part of the problem.

�Attitude� and �tolerance� are the biggest factors in play, contributing to the decline of customer service in the USA. These factors cross multiple industries and extend far beyond the retail and food service sectors. Why is this so and how can companies compete in a troubled economy with deplorable customer service?

First let�s examine �tolerance�. Tolerance is exhibited by both the business and the customer. Many consumers have just �given up� and accept bad customer service. Instead of pushing back or taking their business elsewhere, by default they tolerate customer �dis-service�. Businesses who tolerate poor customer service usually have problems at the top of the organization. Managers and leaders, who set poor examples themselves, encourage this service standard from employees. Managers need to lead by showing that without customers, they have no business! To compete in a tough economy small to mid size companies need to see exceptional customer service as part of an overall marketing strategy, and it should be a budget line item in their marketing plan.

Secondly, let�s review �attitude�. An attitude of apathy is more contagious than the seasonal flu. Many have lost the attitude of �service� which has been helped in part, by electronic communications. While social media can be useful in customer support, it can also be detrimental. To deliver customer service, you need to be pleasant, courteous, helpful and eager to engage in human interaction, whether in person or by phone. E-mail, texting and tweets have reduced our customers to �bits of data�. Developing a servant�s heart and an attitude towards customer service is something you and your organization can do immediately. I love to track businesses that go the extra mile for their customers by being helpful (ex: offering a free personal shopper service), or just returning all calls and e-mails within 24 hours. Frame It! Personalized Picture Frames is just one example.

Can businesses that deliver great customer service flourish during a recession? You bet. It works in our company, as evidenced by customer loyalty, testimonials and increased revenues. Any small business can quickly leverage this one tactic and see a quick return on investment. Whether you�re a dry cleaner or an online retailer, if you develop and attitude of service and a �servants heart� for customers, you�ll survive and flourish in these tough economic times. It begins with you.


Casey Jones is a writer, coach and a manager of customer relations. She searches the web for positive customer service experiences and new ways to retain customers like:


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