I cannot say if customer service is, in general, improving or getting worse. The American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests that customer service improved until mid-2014 but has been trending downward since. It is probably growing in some industries and not in others. Personally, I am occasionally impressed with the service, but the service I receive is “adequate.” I give talks frequently, and I often start the presentation by asking who can recall a positively memorable service experience in the last few months. Typically, I will see a smattering of raised hands. If asked about unsatisfactory service experiences, the number of hands raised is usually far larger. Is Customer expectation changing or is consistency slipping?
I had the good fortune to speak at the annual MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Dealers Association) Convention earlier this week. I want to share a few observations and things I learned:
If you found yourself scratching your head about the title of this post, you aren’t alone. We often hear so much about how to respond effectively to our mistakes and failures but rarely do we hear about what we should do when we succeed. Yet responding effectively to one success can greatly improve our odds of securing another.
If your business has weaknesses which are hard to change, don’t try to wish them away. Instead, use them to clarify and fuel your game plan for success.
Some of your weaknesses may have the potential to be used as strengths, and the rest can be used to sharpen your focus and lull your competitors into a false sense of superiority.
You receive a customer feedback survey and on the “likelihood to recommend,” question she responded with an “8”. In the NPS* scoring scheme, she is a passive customer. When the interviewer asked why she gave the rating, her response was “I do not score higher than that as there is always room for improvement” and the survey comments do not provide any clues about her rating.