Why Customer Service is Even More Important these days?

Why Customer Service is Even More Important these days?

Everyone knows that is important. However, most are clueless about how customer service can have a direct impact in their lives. If everyone knows customer service is important, why do most of us only pay lip service to it or adopt a lukewarm attitude towards providing an excellent customer service?

This is a true story that happened today.

I walked into a well-known electrical store with full intention to cart back 2 standing fans that very moment. The spacious outlet was quite empty with just a few lingering customers browsing around; I thought the purchase would be a breeze. I was deadly wrong.

I saw a suitable model but there were no sales consultants there. I looked at the customer service counter and noticed more than 10 sales consultants sitting or standing there, resting or chatting. I waved at them, and gesturing towards my ideal fan, the eager consumer that I was at that time. A few saw me but never bothered to stand up. Then, one with a tie, probably the supervisor, looked at me and then back to his staff, “Hey, someone go help that lady”.A woman in her mid-thirties reluctantly got up and came to me, “Yes, what you want?” There was no smile, no friendliness. I asked for the price and her answer was curt and short, “This one $99, no discount.”� Without waiting for me to utter another word, she headed back to her team and start chatting away. Well, I walked out as my money is no good here.

This is so ironic when this store paid its advertising agency an obscene amount of money on TV commercials, full-colour press advertisements, promotional booklets to attract customers and when the customer actually walks in, she is ignored. The marketing communications maxim of “A.I.D.A.” states that your campaign needs Attract attention in order to arouse sufficient Interest to create a Desire to own and thereby induce Action. I was attracted by the sales ad, curious to find out more choices in store, definitely want 2 fans and took time to pop by. Their campaign is successful but it did not make them the sale. In fact, it wasted good money on advertising campaign. What went wrong? Absolutely, definitely, on site customer service!

Customer service is more than a smile, more than acknowledging a customer. These days, products are fast becoming commodities with few differentiations. What would make the distinction is the brand value and customer relationship management. A strong brand is a promise to the customer, it is a differentiating factor that distinguishes your products from other offerings in the market. More importantly, it also enables the company to build customer loyalty as the people will remember the brand and its quality. While CRM creates and sustains customer loyalty as well as promoting customer retention. The core value is in increasing customer value while reducing the cost of sales. And this store just increased it’s cost by ignoring customer!

Customer service concepts aside, I cannot understand how these sales consultants could ignore a customer. Customers are the ones that pay their boss who in turn pay for their salaries, overtime, bonus, commission, medical benefits, insurance, etc. Customers likes to do business with companies that treat them like kings. When a company offers great customer services, not only will customers return but would also spread words among friends and families. That’s one contributing factor to how a company is to build to last. When you are nice to others, others will be nice to you. What goes around will come around.

What does customer service depend upon? The company must have customer friendly policies set from the top and these executives must see that the policies are seriously being carried out both internally and externally. If the staff does not know the value of lifelong client is ignorant about how to retain customer loyalty or reluctant to provide that “extra mile”, the sincerity will not shine through the smiles and greetings. Don’t you detest those mechanical and almost robotic words with absolutely no warmth and meaning in them?

More importantly, don’t you just hate it when you went all the way there and had to go back empty-handed?

Read These Related Posts:
CRM Is the Cheapest Form of Marketing

Secret Shopping Service on the Prowl

[tag]customer service, why customer service is important, customer service relationship[/tag]

5 Replies to “Why Customer Service is Even More Important these days?”

  1. Hi Vivienne

    I couldn’t agree with you more on the importance of customer service. Like to share a personal experience.

    Recently I bought a watch for my wife on Valentine. As the watch does not fit my wife’s hand (too loose), we went to one of the chain of shops owned by the company which I bought the watch from. After handing over the watch to one of the sales assistant, my wife and I browsed in the shop while waiting. A few minutes later, the sales assistant who took our watch came out from her office and began blowing her fingernails with a fan in the store. We thought she might have given our watch to another sales assistant for adjustment, so we continued our browsing. After about 10 minutes, we felt that it had been a bit too long, so we approached the sales assistant to enquire on the status of the watch. She looked at us blindly and apologized that she had forgotten about it!! She actually left it on the workbench, talked to her friend and totally forgot about our watch! She still even dare to take care of her fingernails when we were still inside the store!! Think that Singapore has still a long way to go at service excellence. “A 1st world country with a 3rd world mentally”, wonder how true this statement is going to be?

  2. I once asked a sales consultant why she joined the sale industry as she looked really bored. Her answer was “high commission”. If 50% of those in sales echoed her sentiment, it will take us a long time to to serve graciously and willingly.

  3. People! Don’t shy from naming names! What were the stores you visited? The age of the citizen journalist is here. In case you are not aware, technology is really empowering people especially in India where reforms have become real simply because the authorities have been embarassed into taking action and the press themselves have taken on citizen journalists to publish what is real. Vivienne and Aaron, put that mobile phone camera to use now. Better still catch it on video. Perhaps this will embarass folks into changing the mentality. But yes, apart from that, we are truly 3rd world when it comes to service and many other things behind a decorated facade of “1st-worldliness”. What can we do when the people have been conditioned only too well by a domineering, totalitarian oligarchy with a zero-tolerance on dissent?

  4. Well, we are not here to slime anyone. But to help others learn fromthis. For those who are interested, contact me, I will tell you. But that is just so you will not suffer the same fate. :)

  5. Hello!

    Personally for me – customer service is VERY important.
    For example, consultant’s smile defines my relationship to the company. If I am going
    to the cafe, and employees don’t smile or say hello in this cafe.. I am for sure that i wouldn’t return there.

    John

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