Why Bad Customer Service In Most Companies

Ask most owners and managers to rate the level of customer service their business delivers and they’ll likely tell you it’s excellent. Nothing could be further from the truth in many cases.

With all of the talk and hype about customer service that has taken place over the past decade, we would expect the level of service provided to be very high with many companies. The fact is, the level of customer service has deteriorated significantly over the past few years in many organizations. We believe that nothing more than lip service is being paid to customer service by most businesses.

In some cases, management simply does not know how to instill a customer-driven, customer service culture. In other cases, bad hiring decisions are to blame with some arguing that the tight labor market has contributed to this problem and in still other cases management doesn’t have a clue about customer service and its importance to the success of an organization.

To get a better feel for the lack of customer service orientation on the part of most businesses pay close attention to how businesses you interact with everyday treat you. How many provide outstanding service…the only acceptable level? How many provide good service? How many provide mediocre service? And how many provide lousy service? We suspect you will not find many, if any, that provide outstanding service.

The primary reason that customer service is not done well in most companies is because management doesn’t understand what constitutes outstanding service. Outstanding customer service is a function of virtually all aspects of your business. The processes involved in operating your business have a direct impact on customer service. The people you hire have a direct and profound impact. The equipment you use in your operation can have an effect. And policies that have been established can impact customer service in a big way. The cleanliness of your facilities is a customer service issue. The way telephone calls are routed and handled impacts customer service. The list goes on and on.

Customer service is not done well by most businesses. As much as they want to believe they have customer service figured out, managers and owners simply don’t understand the complexity and difficulty of delivering outstanding customer service. It takes a focused, committed and almost religious effort to reach the level necessary to be considered outstanding customer service.

A comprehensive and disciplined effort is required to reach the level of service necessary to distinguish your business from others. Most organizations are not willing or able to pull this off. This is a management limitation that needs to be addressed. Customer service should be one of the primary areas of emphasis when attempting to enhance the success of the business.

Look at your business carefully and try to objectively evaluate the level of service being delivered. In order to do this, you will need to spend considerable time observing operations and talking to customers. Keep in mind that this one area can make or break your business. Some businesses that are marginally successful can become highly successful by simply focusing heavily on enhancing customer service. If you want your business to stand out, make a concerted effort to upgrade the level of customer service to outstanding. Remember that outstanding means to stand out. And standing out in a positive way will reap benefits.

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I have always been a shopaholic. A lot of times my questions went unanswered when it came to retail questions, so I started Talk Radio News. - Caitlyn Johnson

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