Is Customer Service Dead in America?
I recently had my SUV serviced. Routine maintenance, nothing was wrong with the vehicle. It’s a 2020 with 22,000 miles on it.
I’m not going to talk about the make or dealership that I used. That’s not what this article is about. And, no, it’s not about having your service fleet properly maintained.
This article is about the deterioration of customer service in America.
You would think that having a nearly new SUV serviced would be simple. Change the oil, rotate and check the tires, make sure everything seems ship-shape. This isn’t rocket science.
While a routine service seems to be a simple endeavor, the service experience is all driven by the service personal working at this particular dealership. I’m not talking about the technicians, but the Client Care Specialist (CCS). How they greet you. How they listen to your concerns. How they interact with you. Make sure your service request are completed. How they handle your delivery after the service by the dealership. Again, it seems pretty simple, right? Take care of your customer. Elevate them. Make them feel welcomed. How hard can that be?
Evidently, it’s getting to be a tall order. Lack of customer service seems to be a growing trend in America. It’s too easy to blame this on the pandemic. It just seems to me, no matter where I go that requires an interaction with an employee at just about any company, be it retail, service, or even professional services. That the lack of attention to details and any perceived delivery of customer happiness is a thing of the past.
To put it bluntly, I almost feel like I’m bothering someone when I interact with an employee at a company (if I can even speak with an employee). There is no joy in any of it. Calling a retail “mega-store” is just about useless. Having someone at a company follow-up with you is like winning the lottery if they actually call you back. Assuming that a professional services company, including lawyers, doctors, accountants, banks, mortgage services, etc., will actually be professionally accurate and detail oriented is becoming wishful thinking. Don’t get me started about my cable provider.
Now, granted, this isn’t every company in America. Some founders, owners and managers clearly get it. Bring joy to your customer and you’ll excel and grow. You’ll have customers beating a path to your door.
It’s been said that a company’s client service experience is only as strong as its weakest link. One or two bad actors in your client experience flow can extremely divide your company’s brand impression. It’s hard to repair that. Your customer is more likely to hang their hat on that single poor interaction and divide your brand. Depending on how egregious the failure to delight, it could even cost you that customer.
Don’t be one of those companies.
If your company can provide an extraordinary customer service experience, from the initial contact through the final billing, winning over that customer for life is increasingly becoming low hanging fruit. So many people have perpetual bad experiences with all sorts of companies, that when you shine, when you delight your customer, you’ll stand out like an elephant at a mouse convention.
So ask yourself. Do you delight your customers every time they interact with you in an uncompromising way? Do you bring them joy and happiness every step of the way? Do you bend over backwards to help them solve their problems? Do your techs spend time developing their client interaction skills as well as their technical skills? Do your CCS perpetually learn and develop new and better customer skills? Do you, the owner, yes you, personally call a customer if there has been a disruption of service excellence? And, take care of that customer?
While no company can deliver 100% perfection in every client interaction, the quest for perfection should certainly be the standard. Don’t jump aboard the poor customer service train that seems to be stopping at businesses all across America. Complacency seems to be the benchmark. A terrible customer killing benchmark for sure.
The customers in your marketplace are waiting, yearning, hoping, for your company to deliver the promise of a superior client experience. It’s all in your grasp. Learn, develop and train your team to be the very best that they can be. Instill that positive attitude with every one of your team members to deliver joy. To greet customers with a smile and friendly hello. To deliver amazing client happiness. To wow them. It’s not that hard — especially given today’s apparently low bar that’s being set by poorly run companies across America. Your customers will love you, and so will your bank account.