Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Has customer service become collective suffering?

The New Yorker's James Surowiecki writes about the mounting frustration of American consumers, who are “fed up with inept service, indifferent employees, and customer-service departments that are harder to negotiate than Kafka’s Castle.” He writes that tensions are mounting thanks to the American demand for cheap goods with luxury service and a lack of focus among executives on how to use their customer service department correctly. Together, both parties on the customer service line suffer causing discontent on the phone, corner office, tarmac, and on the web.

Surowiecki writes, "For a start, most companies have a split personality when it comes to customers. On the one hand, C.E.O.s routinely describe service as essential to success, and they are well aware that, thanks to the Internet, bad service can now inflict far more damage than before; the old maxim was that someone who had a bad experience in your store would tell ten people, but these days it’s more like thousands... On the other hand, customer service is a classic example of what businessmen call a “cost center”—a division that piles up expenses without bringing in revenue—and most companies see it as tangential to their core business, something they have to do rather than something they want to do."

Is your customer service something that you truly want to do or do you feel pressured into it to keep customers?
What is the solution for customers and for customer service departments? We'd like to hear your thoughts, DM us on Twitter @customerworld


No comments: