I enjoyed watching the last episode of CBC’s Marketplace, wherein they went hunting for Canada’s worst customer service. The reason I suspect that I’m not the only one who enjoys watching these shows is partly the same reason we all rubberneck at a car accident, and partly because we can all relate.
I mean seriously, who hasn’t had atrocious customer service and wanted to tell the world?
Who hasn’t fumed for weeks or months or even years after a bad experience because we felt like we weren’t treated with the respect we deserved?
And I think that’s what so much of customer service boils down to. A simple matter of respect. Whether as employees or customers, everyone wants to be respected. We want our opinions respected, our time respected and our humanity respected.
We want to feel like we are not being taken for granted, which is why it’s no surprise than in customer service surveys 67% of customers say they stop doing business with someone because they feel unappreciated.
Incidentally, if you are curious as to which stores received the worst grades for lousy customer service, the winners (er, losers) were Wal-Mart, Canadian Tire and Zellers.
So what’s the solution? As a speaker and trainer I may be a tad biased here, but I think an obvious solution is training, training, and well, training. Followed up by copious amounts of training. But for organizations to invest in customer service training they must see it as a necessary investment that will ultimately pay off in spades.
Hopefully the thought of showing up on a show such as “Marketplace” or “60 Minutes” would be all it takes for some companies to reconsider just how valuable great customer service training can be.
Michael Kerr, 2012. www.mikekerr.com
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