SUMMARY: You can make the most incredible products in the world, but if your customer service is lacking, you’re going to lose a lot of customers and not get them back. It’s tough to find good customer service today because too many companies don’t want to pay them what they are worth.
Sony was rated as the worst brand in a recent consumer survey. If you’ve ever tried to get support for a Sony product, you’ll understand why. I had a Sony DVD player that needed a software update, and it was a lesson in frustration to find and load the update.
Apple is a brand that understands excellent customer service. When my iPad of six months refused to charge, the people at the Apple store gave me a new one because it was under warranty. When my car had a flat tire, Genesis picked it up and gave me a loaner to repair it. These are brands that understand customer service.
Data has shown that consumers will pay more money for brands that provide a high level of customer service. Yet, some brands continue to place people in customer service roles without training and at entry-level wages, which costs them revenue.
Customer service people are a special bread. They need to be good at problem-solving and know-how to deal with upset people and may be ready to ditch the branded product they just bought. One of the leading consulting firms found that 80% of people in customer service should NOT be working there based on their lack of qualifications.
Consumers are going to have to get used to higher prices on just about every product. Supply chain issues coupled with labor shortages are going to push prices higher. If any brand thinks they can weather the storm, they need a reality check. Even Apple is holding price increases primarily because they are using their chips.
Consumers expect brands to be listening on social media as well. A negative comment or a request for help should be answered almost immediately, but it’s not uncommon to wait two days for a response. The other issue that is pissing people off is waiting on the phone for a customer service person. If the wait is more than four minutes, you need to hire more people.
Finally, there are BOTS. Here is the bottom line: customers hate them with a passion. BOTS may help segment calls but are useless when it comes to helping people.
If you want your brand to grow and expand your market, you need an excellent customer service department. Failing to invest in one is a huge mistake.