Customer Service is a Lost Art Form
That’s something a friend of mine often likes to say. And you know what? I kind of agree with him.
Think about how many times you’ve truly been blessed with exemplary customer service over the past few months. Once? Twice? Never?
Now think about the times your blood has boiled as a result of someone providing you with misinformation or a shoddy attitude. Or, perhaps worse, completely ignoring you.
Recently, I’ve been subject to the latter. I’ve actually been in the position of actively trying to just about hand someone my hard earned cash and, shockingly, being completely ignored despite trying to get in touch with them multiple times via several channels. Frustrating indeed.
Well, people are busy, you might say. And I don’t disagree. But really, in today’s connected world, how much effort does it take to type out an email that says “Thanks. Got your message. Working on it. Will get back to you soon.” (Took me less than 10 seconds to type that, by the way).
Something like that may not be very detailed, but it’s something. It’s a piece of communication that lets the recipient know they’re being thought about, with the promise of something more further down the line.
These days, it’s not only irresponsible for organizations to not communicate well with their customers, it’s downright bad for business. There’s a little thing called social media that seems to be pretty popular these days, and it makes it awful easy for people to spread the word about organizations -- and not always in a good way. Facebook, Twitter, Yelp and others have all have become places where people spread the word about their experiences. As a result, consumers have more power than ever before to let their voices be heard and influence opinion online. That consumer power is only going to increase.
Off the top of my head, I cannot think of a single company that does not cater to some customer segment in some way, shape or form. And there are a lot of companies out there, fighting for a mess of customers. Which makes the lack of customer concern from some organizations even more puzzling.
As someone who has been involved in client service for many, many years, I guess I have a pretty idealized idea of what customer service should be. But I don’t think it’s so Pollyanna of me to think that organizations should take customer service, including simple courtesy and responsiveness, as seriously as possible (and yes, as I’m writing this I realize how obvious that sounds). The potential for something like this to happen is far too great.