False economies

Oct 14 2004 by Brian Amble Print This Article

"The only way companies will keep their customers (and their revenues) is if they can keep their customers happy."

It seems stunningly obvious, but it is a sad reflection on the levels of ‘customer service’ provided by many of the organisations that we all deal with on a day-to-day basis that Dr James Rieley’s polemic still makes the management pages of a national newspaper.

Reductions in customer service lead to fewer customers, and consequently less revenues and profits, and more headcount reductions. Sounds like a vicious circle to me.

....With all the competition, customer service will make or break a company. To complicate things further, do decision-makers realise that remaining employees will be both stressed by having to do more with less, and de-motivated by the cuts? Will that improve customer service? When customers begin to realise that for the money they pay they are being treated as if management doesn't care, they will begin to look for other options.

Last month, The fourth National Complaints Culture Survey (NCCS) found that employees are eager to deliver excellent customer service but are frustrated at a lack of support from their managers.

Indeed, while bosses said that employee engagement and customer satisfaction were their top priorities this year, this was contradicted by what their own employees said about their experience.

The NCCS found that thing were worst in the energy and utilities and government sectors because far fewer staff felt empowered to make final decisions – as anybody who has to deal with these types of organisations knows only too well.

Daily Telegraph | Low numbers = less service