Haven’t we all had those beyond awful customer service experiences? I recently had one of “those” experiences and was stunned that every interaction and communication with this major brand assumed that the customer was wrong and could not be trusted. It is shocking that this kind of behavior is still so pervasive today.
According to Shep Hyken, customer service expert, “Customer service is not a department, it is a philosophy.”
And, this is why so many companies still get it wrong. Most customer service departments are disconnected units built as battle grounds to defend corporate policies or disseminate complicated procedures that presume the customer is always wrong.
Companies must finally fix this by imposing customer engagement and retention behaviors and metrics for every channel used by customers.
According to the report Customers 2020 by Walker Information in collaboration with Customer Think and the Chief Customer Officer Council, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Here are some other stats to consider:
These insights are corroborated by findings from Voice of Customer Learnings from 15,000+ hours of research conducted by our firm, ERDM;
With a slogan, putting people first, Marriot International has recently been named to the “2015 Customer Service Hall of Fame” by 24/7 Wall Street.
On their website Marriott International notes:
Marriott trains its staff to understand each other so that it can understand consumers. According to Nancy Curtin Morris, Marriott’s National Director of Training:
“Our focus on customer service has been strong for more than 70 years. (The ability of) managers and their staff to understand and relate to customers – and that is where the payoff comes in…”
Marriott’s Second quarter 2015 net income totaled $240 million, a 25 percent increase over 2014 second quarter net income.
According to Scott Broetzmann, president of Customer Care Measurement & Consulting, “Many companies today are simply awful at resolving customer problems…” And in the Arizona State University’s “customer rage” study it was noted that “satisfaction with service is actually no higher than it was in the 1970s.”
Companies need to take a new look at old, outdated customer service that cultivates a combative “us vs. them mentality.” Companies must rethink customer service as a revenue generating skill that builds, repairs and grows long-term relationships.
About the Author:
Ernan Roman Direct Marketing’s Customer Experience strategies achieve consistent double-digit increases in response and revenue for their clients, which include IBM, MassMutual, QVC, Microsoft, and Symantec Corp.
As a leader in providing Voice of Customer research-based guidance, ERDM has conducted over 10,000 hours of interviews with their clients’ customers and prospects, to gain an in-depth understanding of their expectations for high-value relationships.
The results achieved by ERDM’s VoC-based strategies earned Ernan Roman induction into the Marketing Hall of Fame.
Visit his blog at: http://ernanroman.blogspot.com/