Top 5 Customer Service Links for 12-7-09
Grab a cup of coffee, sit back and enjoy the five best customer service posts from the last week. On me. 🙂 This week, many articles focused on the basics: what is frustrating to a customer and how can you build better relationships so that when frustrating experiences occur, the customers don’t walk?:
- In a recent survey, Aurix named the biggest call center frustrations from customers. Some aren’t a surprise, and some are telling about company’s upselling practices:
The lists of complaints included “impolite” and “nasty behavior,”
“tactlessness” and “obvious efforts to sell products while evading
answers to pertinent questions.”
- In another telling survey, Forrester’s Andrew McInnes reported that most customers expect poor customer service experiences as a matter of course. Not surprisingly, the lowest marks were in computers and health insurance policies, where
only 30% of consumers expected customer service to be easy. It’s hard not to add a “C’mon, folks; we can do better than THIS” comment to this report.
- Fortunately, Bill Self in the Thinking Like a Customer blog addresses the issue, not with generalities but by citing examples of companies “flying under the radar” and providing single-minded, narrowly-targeted customer service in specific markets. His solution? Lower your risk by getting close to your customers.
- Similarly, Brent Leary whipped out some stats to support the model of relationship-building with customers in a great post entitled It Takes a Village to Raise a Customer. Some telling statistics:
A recent survey commissioned by e-mail marketing provider Campaigner
found the top challenge facing small business owners today is customer
acquisition and retention — by a landslide. The 2009 State of Small Business Online Marketing Survey questioned
over 250 North American small business owners with 20 employees or
less. And customer acquisition/retention was the top business
challenge of 50 percent of those surveyed. Growing revenue was a
distant second with 15 percent, followed by improving cash flow and
maintaining profitability — at 9 percent and 8 percent respectively.
[bold mine] See that? The top business challenge was retaining customers. And since we know that customers make decisions based on service over price, beefing up customer service seems like a no-brainer, doesn’t it?
- Lest you take this week’s lovely link list for a customer service love-fest, check this out: Patrick Maguire recently launched a blog positing that the customer isn’t king–nor is she always right. ServerNotServant.com is his site, where he blogs chapters from his upcoming book as the “voice for service industry workers everywhere” and “a case for human-to-human service and civility.”