The death of customer service

For most of us, it’s all about the long term relationship (and therefore the long term revenue) rather than one individual transaction. We have a contract for mobile phone service. We subscribe to a magazine, or app, or satellite TV, rather than buying individual magazines or individual programs. Or, from another perspective, think of the jobbing tradesperson who has to quote for every job, rather than the tradesperson who has a steady stream of work from a select number of clients.

Which makes it somewhat mystifying that so many businesses don’t realise that all contracts are finite. And if the client is not satisfied with the products or services, yet is locked in to a contract, they will disappear as soon as they possibly can. Outsourcing customer service to a machine, or to Bangalore or Manila might seem like a smart move to the short sighted manager. But, as the saying goes, “remember the quality long after the price is forgotten”. A contract may tie a customer to a supplier for a time. But not for life.

In an age where the cost of acquiring a customer far outweighs the cost of retaining one, it is mind-boggling the lack of effort many companies ( and more particularly their personnel ) exert to retain customers. Especially when the value of a returning customer is not only greater than the value of a new customer – but the cost of retention is miniscule when compared to the cost of acquisition. Which brings us back to the Death of Customer Service.

Is it faulty logic that leads to poor customer service? Or a lack of foresight? Or just laziness?  Whatever it is, failing to ensure a customer is serviced adequately is always a poor economic decision.