Where Has Good Customer Service Gone?

First, let me start by saying Happy New Year!

I’ve been spending most of my holiday with family and friends and overall, the experience has been refreshing.

On New Year’s Eve day, I decided to eat breakfast at a local restaurant. The experience left me thinking, ‘Where has good customer service gone?’ After being seated by the host, I decided another available location in a booth was more preferable than the table I was initially given. I asked if I could move and was surprised to hear the host say, “That’s another section, I’m not sure, let me go check.”

I didn’t need to hear the turmoil of the host not knowing and that being another section. I was expecting something like, I’m sorry that’s reserved or “Oh sure, sir, go right ahead!” Whatever happened to that?

This leads me to this post today. They say in life you should never waste an experience. Always use what you’re going through for the greater good of someone else. So I guess it’s safe to say that my turmoil is for your good.

What does it cost to retain customers vs. acquiring new ones?

According to authors Emmett C. Murphy and Mark A. Murphy’s Leading on the Edge of Chaos, acquiring new customers can cost five times more than satisfying and retaining current customers, a 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect on profits as cutting costs by10%, the average company loses 10% of its customers each year, a 5% reduction in customer defection rate can increase profits by 25-125%, depending on the industry and the customer profitability rate tends to increase over the life of a retained customer.

There you have it! That’s it in a nutshell. What are we doing to keep our current customers happy? It’s a matter of sales and excellent customer service. Many times the sales team is there to close the deal, then the customer is passed on to a formal customer relations program to ensure that the customer’s overall experience is managed. This is all good. In fact, I highly recommend having systems in place for retaining the customer. That’s ‘getting it’ when it comes to the profitability and success of your department or business.

I’ve been a customer of L.L.Bean for years and my experience has always been excellent. They go out of their way to accommodate my needs and they guarantee their products. Sure, I bet they get new customers logging on or entering their stores everyday to make a purchase, but they understand the value of paying attention to the customers they already have, and how profitable customer retention is to their bottom line. That’s being better than good.

The New Year is here...2008 is upon us, how are you planning to be better than good to your customer? Leave me a comment, I’m open to how we can maximize the lost art of “good customer service.” At Bizucate, we plan on making that a focus of ours for the new year.

Keep the learning going...pass it on.