"Customer Service" - Two Words in Conflict

It seems like every week there is some reason to contact a company to get something resolved. In every call you have to assume that things will work out and try, as best you can, to not let previous experiences influence your approach in a negative way. In theory it all sounds like a reasonable approach, but it can quickly fall apart when the state of “customer support” is worse than ever.

No matter what the problem may be it seems that the customer support team is there to help the company and not the customer. Whether it is helping the company by paying for reps that are overseas or by issuing policies that remove the ability for a rep to help customers, companies seem increasingly less concerned about customer satisfaction. Obviously any employee of a company is there to serve the best interest of the company, but the perception was always given that they were at least there to help the customer.

It wasn’t long ago that interactions with companies were vastly better. At one time you were able to call and talk with someone that knew their position well and had been performing it for years. They were able to answer questions and at the very least were trained on what key words they should avoid to try and make the experience better for all. This method enabled a company to still protect their best interest while helping their customers. At a minimum a customer felt that they were talked to as an equal. Whether or not a customer got a resolution was not the point but rather it was about making sure they felt their concerns or issues were being heard.

So you may ask, “what’s the point of all this?” Opportunity. The economy is in the toilet, jobs are being lost at record rates, credit is in question and the future looks grim. This is the time to rethink some of the practices that got us here. This is the chance we need to start making changes because, quite frankly, we have little left to lose.

Let’s start getting back some of those values that built us strong in the past. Let’s bring back jobs that went overseas. Let’s retrain ourselves for the future. Companies need to seek any ways of not only adding customers but keeping customers.

Bring the “service” back to customer service.

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