Customer Service - thoughts? Is it getting better or worse?

By Steve Richardson : Administrator
Published 13th May 2014 | Last comment 17th January 2017
Comments
As a probation officer I can confirm that offenders do get confused about customer service.

An offender once told me how crap I was, adding he was going to write to trading standards and the probation ombudsman and have me sacked!”

 

I suppose this is a similar issue teachers face on a daily basis, with the power in the hands of the pupils and teachers having to prove themselves innocent. Maybe a good analogy for customer service, could you argue I wonder that too much power is in the hands of the consumer?

With the power of social media and reviews, you do wonder what some peoples expectations are. I love reading negative reviews on trip adviser. "They had horrible teabags" or "I didn't like the curtains". Some of the trivia people post in the name of a damming review is hilarious.


Angela - My views & opinions are my own
Marketing Manager | Edinburgh Trusted Trader

Given some of my recent experiences with customer service, I think it has improved.

Apart from the satisfactory resolution of my recent telephone problems, I also had to return a pack of tights to my local Asda.  No way were they the size it said on the pack.  Expected to be given third-degree, I was pleasantly surprised when I handed them over and got a refund with no quibbling.  

Angela - I agree with your comments about Trip Advisor.  Same scenario with holidaymakers blaming tour operator for bad weather!


Older folk often lament about the good old days when you had good old fashioned customer service.

Then the internet was born, along with the overseas outsourced call centres and customer service seemed to exit stage right

But more recently, there seems to have been a backlash, largely I suspect due to customer complaints, and the modern review driven culture.

Companies now proudly claim to use local call centres, staffed with regional accents, and shout the customer service message loudly from the roof tops.

I called BT (residential) recently and had the happiest Indian based chap in the world, who was falling over himself to make me happy, and finally even resolved my problem. Phoning back 30 minutes later just to make sure I was still happy...

Compared to years ago where you would sit patiently in the queue. I think the worst used to be NTL broadband (what happened to them?) and trying to talk to their patronising support department

With the power in consumers hands via reviews and social media, have things changed?

What are peoples perceptions? Is customer service in general getting better or worse? Or is customer service better with smaller companies who are quick to react, versus the large PLC's who are still playing catch up?”

 

i just took a happy bunch of the older generation who were the best fun, customer service how hard,

a smile a welcome. and asking what music they liked. Elvis was shouted, how easy. at the end were some of the best comments i have heard. For doing a job the right way. i have proved it customer service wins hands down, the more other don.t give it, the more customers for me

 

Customer service always wins i prove it everyday, And still amazed how easy it is to be nice, friendly smile sand help

not hard 

john


There are some companies that are pushing things and actually making things far better.


redstone

Interesting one this morning. Won't name them as we all have bad days, but had a call from a printer company based in Manchester this morning. We've bought a couple of printers from them, they phone from time to time, hows your printer going, usual expected up-sell.

Last month when they phoned I had a little moan that it seemed nuts that I could buy the exact same laser colour printer we use, for a cheaper price than buying replacement toner. In my mind it's mad, especially as there is nothing wrong with our printer and we love it. So asked about non branded or refillable toners. Don't get me wrong, it's not the suppliers fault, it's the manufacturers.

Sales chap then sent over a quote for a new printer versus refillable toners. Today, got the sales call, whats the update on the quote. Admittedly I was busy, call had interrupted me and I was quite short, saying something like if I wanted to order, then I would have. To which I got a very short and stroppy response back telling me fine and he would delete the quote, good bye.

If you are making customer facing calls, you are going to get grumpy gits like me. But if you can't keep it professional and pleasant, it's time to stop making them 

Would I consider buying elsewhere? After today, most definitely.

Great post from Higgers on another thread about customer loyalty, but how relevant

  • 78 percent of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.
  • Only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers actually speak up.
  • Loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.
  • The probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent, while selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent.
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single bad experience.
  • Negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones.
  • It costs over six times more to get new customers than it does to keep one current one.
  • For every customer who complains, 26 others don’t speak up.

Quoted from the Huffington Post


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

I also had one of those days recently when I received call from an online directory who I won't name (have the "walking" fingers!).  I cut him short, telling him I'd already said no to a £2500+ website and the reduced price one.  Took it to another stage by complaining online.

Got a call few days later from their Customer Service Department wanting to find out why I was so dissatisfied.  Very quickly became apparent that I had mistaken the original caller for one who had originally tried to sell me the website.

Call ended with me apologising for my terse attitude and them apologising to me for what, I haven't quite worked out yet!!


Call ended with me apologising for my terse attitude and them apologising to me for what, I haven't quite worked out yet!!”

 

Its actually fantastic customer service if you think about it.

Yes you may be totally in the wrong, but they should never tell you that, in fact it was their error for not being clearer on the phone, at least thats the style i would adopt and before you know it you have a customer for life...... 


Clive, My Local Services
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Interesting one this morning. Won't name them as we all have bad days, but had a call from a printer company based in Manchester this morning. We've bought a couple of printers from them, they phone from time to time, hows your printer going, usual expected up-sell.

Last month when they phoned I had a little moan that it seemed nuts that I could buy the exact same laser colour printer we use, for a cheaper price than buying replacement toner. In my mind it's mad, especially as there is nothing wrong with our printer and we love it. So asked about non branded or refillable toners. Don't get me wrong, it's not the suppliers fault, it's the manufacturers.

Sales chap then sent over a quote for a new printer versus refillable toners. Today, got the sales call, whats the update on the quote. Admittedly I was busy, call had interrupted me and I was quite short, saying something like if I wanted to order, then I would have. To which I got a very short and stroppy response back telling me fine and he would delete the quote, good bye.

If you are making customer facing calls, you are going to get grumpy gits like me. But if you can't keep it professional and pleasant, it's time to stop making them 

Would I consider buying elsewhere? After today, most definitely.

Great post from Higgers on another thread about customer loyalty, but how relevant

  • 78 percent of consumers have ended a transaction due to bad service.
  • Only 4 percent of dissatisfied customers actually speak up.
  • Loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.
  • The probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent, while selling to an existing customer is 60-70 percent.
  • It takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single bad experience.
  • Negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones.
  • It costs over six times more to get new customers than it does to keep one current one.
  • For every customer who complains, 26 others don’t speak up.

Quoted from the Huffington Post

 

All very interesting , but I'd love to know how they collated and calculated the figures they are quoting (even though they sound about right ) there's a lot of numbers and figures that seem to be thrown around predominantly for self serving purposes , recruiters for example , I'd love to know the ratio of recruiters and agencies for trades compared to how many actual tradesman there are out there .... I reckon us tradesman may be outnumbered by now


Welcome aboard w10 plumber

recruiters for example , I'd love to know the ratio of recruiters and agencies for trades compared to how many actual tradesman there are out there .... I reckon us tradesman may be outnumbered by now
 

It's a fair point, stats and figures are manipulated by anyone and everyone to serve a purpose and prove a point, so specifics can sometimes be taken with a pinch of salt. But the general sentiment is normally right. 

Judging on the luck I've had trying to get a roofer, I don't think there are any tradesmen left (at least in Stratford )


Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

people just want to moan which is normally an excuse to push an agreed price down. seems people are used to moaning knowing you will knock some off rather than face bad reviews.


Thanks,
Paul S

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