Recently, MSN Money released the findings from their annual customer service survey. Consumers from all over the US were surveyed about their experience with 150 of the nations largest organizations. As the US continues to rebound from the recent (and current) recession, companies of all sizes are focusing on delivering better customer service to ensure customers keep coming back.
It's surprising to see the businesses that remain in the Hall of Shame, year after year, without the smallest hint of improvement. You start to think that no matter how many customers complain and how many bad reviews they receive it's just not going to get any better. Perhaps it's time for consumers to start "complaining" with their pocket books, instead of their words. I'm sure that will help to give each of these companies a wake up call.
What's particularly interesting to find is that every single member of the bottom ten are either banks or service providers (internet, TV, telephone). Each of these industries have been around for a long time, banking for thousands of years. You would think that in all that time, they would have figured out a service process to satisfy customers... apparently not.
We have some recommendations for these companies, that will help to turn this poor customer service ship around, and sailing in the right direction.
- Implement Processes: These two industries are perfect examples of where the customer service pareto principle comes into affect. By applying a best practice, expert approach to solving their common and frequent problems, they will be able to satisfy a majority of customers without lifting a finger.
- Listen to your Customers: Whether it's through social media or simply when you have a customer on the phone, make sure you are truly listening to each customer. Not only listen to the problems that they are having, but to their suggestions and input. There is no better PR then being able to release new features and functions that were directly asked for by your customers.
- Deploy Guided Self-Service: Take advantage of your customer's growing desire to solve their own problems. There is no better (and cheaper) way to satisfy a customer than letting them solve their own problem in a fast and efficient manner. Giving them the same tools and knowledge that your agents have access to is a great way to get started.
- STOP MAKING EXCUSES: If you mess up, fess up. Take the blame and let your customers know that you are working to solve the problem. If you can take it one step further, follow Netflix's model and even give a refund. I know, it sounds crazy and even expensive, but the goodwill and word of mouth that you will generate from it, will by far outweigh the actual cost.
We would love to hear from everyone who they think should also be on the list (good or bad). What are your favorite companies doing to provide out of this world service and support? We also want to hear the horror stories from past customer experiences with the companies that just don't get it.