I’m not sure if it’s the fall out of the last few years of economic tightness or whether we as a society are forgetting how to serve. My recent experiences as a customer in shops, on the telephone and in emails have left me quite shocked at the lack of customer service provided.
At one point I was made to feel like the shop assistant was doing me a favour by serving me. Did she not realise my sale was contributing to her wages and helping to keep her employed, especially during times of elusive jobs.
These aren’t isolated incidents which leaves me wondering whether it’s the beginning of a culture shift and the decline of customer service excellence.
A lot of businesses use it but how many are actually following through over and above ‘lip service’? Importantly, if you have staff/employees do you know how they serve your customers? Without thorough training and regular monitoring customer service is often given on their terms not on your ethos and that’s where the cracks begin to appear. It’s not the customer’s fault if someone is having a bad day, but they often feel the brunt of it.
Every person who represents your business has the ability to attract or repel customers and may not have the same passion and drive to get every sale, because they get paid a wage regardless.
Because of my background in customer service, I’m probably more astute about this topic and very passionate when I don’t receive the service I feel I deserve when parting with my money. Perhaps standards are different from the days I was trained in a large telecommunications company where you HAD to pick up the phone in 3 rings – that was the rule and were made accountable if that didn’t happen.
It reminds me that this was so ingrained at home one day when the phone rang I was so desperate to get it within the 3 rings I ran down the stairs so quick I missed the bottom 2 steps, fell in a heap yet still managed to pick it up on the 3rd ring! Crazy perhaps, but that high level of customer service has always stayed with me, and helped to convert and retain many of my clients over the years.
With people holding back on their spending and the amount of choice they now have it’s more important than ever to make sure your business serves people in a way that makes them feel you want their business.
Customers are special, they’re what makes your business and if you don’t serve them, they’ll be off to your competitors in a flash. You and your staff must always serve customers like dinner depends on it – because without them you could go very hungry!