Customer Service, What Customer Service?

Jun 22, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

What’s the use of complaining? According to a new study on customer service, most consumers do not believe it will do much good anyway.

The study, commissioned by Amdocs and reported on the destinationCRM Web site, found 63 percent believe that customer service has not improved over the past five to 10 years and, in fact, most say it has gotten worse.

Bad service may be all around, but consumers are not likely to stick with a company to repeat the performance. Of the 1,000 people surveyed (evenly split between men and women), 85 percent said even a single bad customer service experience would cause them to consider taking their business elsewhere.

Charles Born, vice president of global marketing at Amdocs, told destinationCRM, “When 85 percent of customers say they’d consider taking their business elsewhere [if the interaction goes poorly], that means you don’t get very many chances to get things right.” Born says.

“You get one shot to make customers happy,” he said. “In this market, good customer service is the ante to play.”

Women, perhaps because they deal with customer service more often, were less likely than men to put up with perceived poor service.

Sixty-one percent of women said they’d do business elsewhere after no more than two bad experiences with a company. Fifty-four percent of men responded similarly.

“You’ve got to put the customer at the center of your business, and know what the customer is thinking,” said Mr. Born. “As simple as that sounds, companies typically look at it from their own perspective.”

Moderator’s Comment: Is it a myth that customer service used to be better than it is now? Are there metrics for retailers
to establish a return on investment for superior customer service?

Everyone talks a pretty good game when it comes to customer service but few deliver. We’ve never fully understood why more resources aren’t focused on training
and rewarding employees charged with providing customer service.

George Anderson – Moderator

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