“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” — Charles Darwin
Today, as the marketing environment becomes more and more competitive exceptional customer service must now not only be viewed as an integral part of a company’s business but also should be seen as an indispensable component.
However, given the poor service provided by many companies, one is often left to wonder how long will these companies remain in business and whether or not their profits would not have increased significantly if they were more customer-centric in their focus and service.
In general, customers expect at least three things from companies:
1) A quality product
2) Reliable service
3) Reasonable prices
Nevertheless, companies continue to be plagued with customers’ complaints such as:
• Poor product quality
• Inept service
• Bureaucratic red tape policies
• Lack of customized solutions
• Impolite customer service representatives
• Inadequate solution to problems
• Lack of knowledge by service representatives
The fact of the matter is many companies continue to undervalue the impact of customer service at each point of contact within their organization. Consequently, rather than developing and maintaining a data base of loyal customers they have ended up with a large number of defectors.
These defectors or switchers are dissatisfied customers who are turned off from either the company’s poor service or quality of product.
Customers defect or switch from companies for various reasons; however, some of the primary ones include:
• High price relative to perceived value and expectations of the product or service
• Inefficient and ineffective system of business transaction
• Inappropriate and unprofessional behavior by not only customer service representatives but employees in general at the different points of contact within the company
Now, how companies respond to issues concerning customers complaints will make the difference between a mediocre company and one that is excellent.
A peerless company will seek to provide exceptional customer service, which means it will not only meet customers expectations but also gives customers more than they expected. The fact is customers who experience superior customer service from a company will return for more products and services and are also less likely to switch to other companies. Moreover, they are likely to act as media channels in promoting the company’s goods and services through word of mouth advertising.
Ultimately, profits and customer service are integrally linked. The company that ignores the value and economic reality of exceptional customer service will not survive in a business environment that is becoming increasingly competitive.