In an issue of the magazine, under their links of “The Things That Suck” Wired told us “Why Things Suck: Customer Service” is hated, they stated the following reasons:
– Some call centers’ focus on getting customers off the phone versus truly resolving issues.- Wired wrote “…See, customer service isn’t really about serving you at all — it’s about getting you off the line as politely …”
– Unmotivated, stressed and untalented customer service representatives.- They only care a little if your problem gets solved — in fact, one out of three call centers don’t measure customer satisfaction. Of course, one in two don’t measure employee satisfaction, either. Their goal is to be done with you.
– Customer service representatives that are unfocused when serving customers.
The best customer service companies don’t run into these issues: they focus on resolving issues and customer satisfaction; they rarely outsource and if they do, they outsource to quality companies; they hired motivated and talented representatives; and they don’t force representatives to help more than one customer at once.
The issues that Wired pointed out are interesting because none of them are difficult to fix. It’s really easy to change policies to measure customer satisfaction and stop outsourcing. The most complicated one is the issue with unmotivated and untalented representatives and by the way Wired words the paragraph, the companies could just tweak their personality tests and avoid that problem.
The short article (part of a series of explanations about why things like traffic, batteries, and customer service suck) also cites some interesting statistics that I had never read before (no source is listed):
1. Employees in Bangalore will work for 85 percent less than equally qualified US employee.
2. One out of three call centers don’t measure customer satisfaction. One in two don’t measure employee satisfaction.
3. The ideal customer service rep (according to personality inventory tests) is uncreative, has low incentive, and demonstrates limited empathy.
4. Half of all service reps are talking, emailing, or IMing with another customer at the same time. One quarter handle up to four people at once.
On average, twice as many people are told about a bad experience than they are about a good experience. A study from 1981 (give Coke attribution in the footnotes, not here) found that a median of 5 persons heard about a good experience, while a median of 10 heard about a bad experience for a small ticket packaged good.
Across industries, it can cost up to five times as much to attract a new customer than to retain an existing one.
90 percent of dissatisfied customers will patronize a competitor. And most customers will not complain about poor customer service.
I think it is critical to give great service!
What are your thoughts about the Wired article? Were they right on or did they miss it totally
Why Things Suck: Customer Service-By Patrick Di Justo – 01.18.08
Seven steps to remarkable customer service By Joel Spolsky Monday, February 19, 2007
‘Prosper Learning’ Student Care Vision—Journey In Prosper Learning
8 Rules For Good Customer Service -Good Customer Service Made Simple-By Susan Ward, About.com
Sales Through Service Is The Prosper Way—Devin Willis
Strategies: Providing great customer service pays–By Rhonda Abrams, USA TODAY