Manners Cost Nothing But Poor Service Costs You Plenty!
How often do you bite your tongue when you receive poor customer service? In this day and age it’s probably more times than you would like and sometimes we just accept it and move on.
Think aggressive sales staff. Think uncaring or disinterested call centre staff. Think rude restaurant staff. Think the bus driver who barely acknowledges that you are there.
Consumers are discovering their teeth however. It is estimated that UK businesses lose up to £7.7 billion each year in lost sales just from employing staff with a poor customer service approach. What is happening here is that we have become a savvy collection of switchers more than comfortable with dropping the organisation that fails to give us a fair deal and to recognise that we are actually important. And that our feelings and opinions do count for something.
How many times does a Broadband provider, mobile phone network provider, energy firm or insurance company get dumped by us in favour of a better deal or package? I will not go into the Red Lion pub because the service is lousy and the beer is flat – I’m more than happy to go a little further up the road to the Baker’s Arms.
The biggest losers are the banks who let slip £2.3 billion each year as customers vote with their feet and move accounts. Evidence of this is the aggressive marketing of financial services through television advertising where certain providers stress the positives of their service (“What should a bank be?”. Nice, safe rhetorical question isn’t it?). It is no accident that this pulls at the poor experiences we may be having with our current bank.
The main issue in all of this is that we want good customer service, not a half-baked attempt at it. We also want to have some feeling that we are not merely a number or a commodity but that we actually matter. From a pure marketing point of view it is very expensive to find a customer so logic must dictate that it is better to cultivate that relationship (even to recycle that customer into new markets of products) rather than have to spend more money having lost the customer we initially cultivated.
From a producer’s point of view customers who are switchers need to be enticed, persuaded or cajoled into staying and developing the holy grail of customer loyalty.
From a customer’s point of view it is good to be civil when complaining rather than storming off into the distance. Dissatisfied customers who remain polite and civil are far more likely to get the outcome they want from complaining and deals and free extras are given widely when you threaten to take your custom elsewhere. Just try that when negotiating a new mobile phone contract or asking for a phone upgrade!
Manners cost nothing from either side and the benefits of getting it right offer considerable rewards.
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