Poor customer services undoubtedly annoys customers and can result in lost sales; however, I want you to think about the impact it has on costs. Poor customer service cost more than good customer service. This simple real-life example I experienced over the last few weeks will illustrate the point.
I have been a customer of the company concerned for 6 months without any problems then at the start of the 7th month they overcharged me. I telephoned to get it sorted, an 18-minute call, and was told by the very pleasant customer service agent that he was unable to contact the department concerned but would phone me back later that day when he had. Two days later I phoned them, 14-minute phone call, explained the situation and a very pleasant customer service agent said he would have to call me back once he had investigated the situation. Three days later I phoned them and got an answer machine – I left a message explaining the situation and asking for someone to call me.
After another three days I phoned again, a slightly shorter call this time, 13 minutes, and guess what, a very pleasant customer service agent said she would have to call me back once she had investigated the situation. I left it my customary three days and called again. This time it was a shorter phone call, 11 minutes, and joy of joys, the very pleasant customer services agent said, after putting me on hold for a short while, “I can see there has been an error on your account. We can either refund the money or deducted it from your next invoice.” As that invoice is now imminent, I went for the deduction option.
Now look at the cost implications:
Customer service agent 1 – achieved nothing
Customer service agent 2 – achieved nothing
Customer service agent 3 – achieved nothing
Customer service agent 4 – dealt with my query.
So, the company is paying 4 people to do a job that can be done by one person. You may think that is an extreme inference; however, a brief look at the company’s social media accounts showed that my experience was not unusual.
I am sure the customer service agents were trying their best, this is a management and systems issue. Get it right first time, pay out less in wages and have delighted customers.
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