The cost of bad customer service

The cost of bad customer service

Recently while trying to purchase a small office heater for my wife, at a local large retailer. I experienced what can only be classified as appalling service.

It all started whilst waiting at a till for over ten minutes, with no acknowledgment of me standing there, whilst the teller and floor manager fretted with the previous customer who was still at the till. Having practiced enough patience, I promptly left the store. I noticed the floor manager walking in the centre and approached him ands asked him, “do you know why I was not impressed by your service back there?”

His response floored me. “Yes you the f worded client!” And he promptly flipped me off with a hand gesture and stormed off. There was another person who saw what transpired and we just looked at each other. Plus it was clear who he was, as he was even wearing his branded jacket for everyone to see.

So I collected my thoughts and drafted up an email which I posted off to the service and info address on the website. Including a message to the CEO on LinkedIn and gave them 24 hours to respond. Fortunately the Divisional Store Operations Executive gave me a call the next day, apologising for the event, insisting that they will most certainly investigate the issue and take the appropriate and necessary action to make sure that this does not happen again. He did enquire about my purchase, which he then realised I had purchased elsewhere.

One can only hope that the necessary action has been taken, because no business can afford to dish out poor service. Especially when poor service directly leads to loss of sales. Now my item was a small purchase, but you add up all the small purchases being lost in an already tight economy, across the many stores they have and you got big problems. So the GAME PLAN needs to change with new mindsets and rules.

Here are some GAME CHANGING nuggets.

Every interaction you have with your clients matters. Wether it is a last minute walk in or email. You need to stand up and take action, because complaints are all the result of a single bad customer experience

Turn bad experiences into opportunities. Read an interesting method called HEARD. Hear, Empathise, Apologise, Resolve and Diagnose.

You are responsible for growth in your company. Research is showing that more than 86% of customers will pay more for better customer service or experiences.

Fast service is not always the best service. Research is showing us that speed is markedly less important than having tellers who can deliver service in a friendly and competent manner.

Making things easier for your customers is proving to be better than wowing them. By reducing customer effort and making life easier and hassle free for them.

You need to protect your customers, by not thinking about the value of a purchase or order, but think about the value of your customer being with you for life.

Lastly, and I believe it is the biggest one. If you want to treat your customers well, you need to treat your staff well. Research is showing that improving employee happiness doesn’t just increase customer satisfaction, but it also nearly doubles the customer’s plans to purchase again. Journal of Service Research USA.