Posted by: garyskidmore | July 29, 2014

How Satisfied Are Your Customers? How Satisfied Are You?

From ATX - Customer Service Issues - July 14

Perhaps the most logical fundamental idea of business is this: if your customers are satisfied with your product and service then they will continue to buy and buy more. Even if you are a product-centric company, your employees are essentially the way satisfaction is created. (And, if you take good care of your employees they are much more likely to take good care of your customers – but that’s another discussion.)

So why do so many companies seem to not get this?

The leading indicator of U.S. consumer satisfaction is ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index) and in Q2 of this year the drop in satisfaction was one of the largest in the 20-year history of the index. And the result of that drop was a material weakening of consumer’s willingness to spend.

(http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20140701005321/en/Consumer-Satisfaction-Index-Sharply-Posing-Threat-Economic#.U9LPEFZcWNA)

Last week I experienced extreme dissatisfaction with Time Warner Cable. I work from home a lot, so when Time Warner offered me new ultra fast internet (up to 100 Mbps) I jumped on it. The result has been highly unreliable and generally slower speeds.

(http://www.timewarnercable.com/en/about-us/press/twc-begins-major-internet-speed-increase.html )

I talked to at least 10 tech support reps, each of which had a different approach to solving my problem. (It’s a bad sign when you know by heart both the tech support phone number and the irritating self-service menu tree.) One in home service call led to new cable from the street to the house – the problems continued.

Finally after rebooting the modem every morning and increasingly angry conversations with another four tech support reps on Wednesday morning, I was “allowed” to talk to a supervisor who could not fix the problem, but arranged for another home service call. This time a knowledgeable and honest technician arrived on time and fixed the problem. He told me, “you and everyone else is having big problems with this upgrade.”

Why hadn’t anyone else told me that? And why did I have to threaten to end a 30+ year relationship to get my problem solved?

This does not make sense.

Why don’t more companies do what Ritz-Carlton does? Every one of the 38,000 employees is permitted to spend up to $2,000 to make any single guest satisfied – without having to get approval. That’s front desk staff, house keepers, reservation agents and waiters….EVERYONE.

(http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/30/simon-cooper-ritz-leadership-ceonetwork-hotels.html ).

What do you think? Why is satisfaction declining and most companies are not responding to empower their employees to solve the problems?

I don’t get it.

Quotes:

Customers don’t expect you to be perfect. They do expect you to fix things when they go wrong.”  — Donald Porter, V.P. British Airways

“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.” — Anonymous

“Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.” — Leon Gorman, CEO L.L.Bean


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