“The customer is always right” is a mantra for businesses of all types and ages, and it feels as if this hasn’t been more important than today. The avenues for customers to raise a complaint have increased rapidly with the continued growth of social media, in line with the potential for a business’s customer service failings to be laid bare for all to see.What also seems to be increasing is the intolerance of the UK general public towards those companies that don’t treat them with respect; the Institute of Customer Service (ICS) has seen a continuous decline in its UK Customer Satisfaction Index since January 2013, with 11 out of 13 sectors seeing a decrease in satisfaction in the latest report from January 2015. Poor complaint handling, low responsiveness and tardiness in solving problems are all issues that consumers have highlighted, and these are problems that can, and do, have an impact on the bottom line. The report reveals that a low customer satisfaction index correlates with a lower growth in sales, putting a tangible business measurement against providing good customer service. I do struggle to understand how, in the 21st century, many companies can get customer service so wrong. Yes, the ways in which companies can be caught out, or make mistakes, has increased but so has our ability to solve problems and deal with them in a streamlined manner. The information provided willingly by these customers gives us a raft of information that can be used to provide the service they want, so let’s use it. It all comes down to how this information is organised, processed and then used. A poorly designed internal data system means that customer information won’t be available to representatives when they need it. For example, if a customer contacts a company regarding a problem, the staff member dealing with the query should be able to automatically have that person’s relevant details to hand. Or if a customer logs into an online service, that website should create a personalised experience creating a tailored journey for each and every potential consumer. Read more on customer experience:
- Six of the best customer complaint letters
- How one entrepreneur transformed their business by creating a memorable customer experience
- Vast majority of customers will abandon business after a bad experience
What is UK PLC waiting for? Image: Shutterstock Jon Cano-Lopez is CEO of the REaD Group.
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