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Starving For Service

We chose to do a service-learning project and we have found that people and companies are starving for service. We chose this service-learning project because we've all had frustrations in getting help when needed. Often after spending considerable money to obtain a product we feel abandoned. Our experiences led us to research why quality service is so rare. It has been an eye-opening study

and its impact changed the way we see service and how we do business. Hopefully, it will catch on with our contemporaries and those with whom we do business with. Don't read the rest of this article if you are not wanting to be awakened to how customers perceive a company or organization.

The fact is that there are so many great products that have features and qualities that are designed and engineered to provide a wonderful user experience. However, you can't know what you don't know. We have found most people who express dissatisfaction with a product have a small need, usually some form of training or explanation. Often the problem or need can be resolved in minutes. But, frequently the person spends more time getting to a service representative than it takes to address and fix the issue. This one element of customer care is responsible for more customer complaints than the problems themselves.

In today's world, we pack technology with usable features that would delight the consumer if they knew how to use them. It is found that w

ith software most people only use a fraction of the features that would benefit them and save them tremendous time. It is not unusual for consumers to spend on average 20 minutes waiting on the phone. Then they encounter a person that is not prepared to provide the needed guidance and instruction.

Too often a customer goes away from the call frustrated and restless and has to engage in countless email exchanges to resolve a problem. Such problems can be avoided with a proper company structure.

As a single company, our opinion may not mean much. But the findings make a lot of sense to us. We found some reasons that lead companies to have improper customer service. The major underlying problem is, that most are not as concerned about existing customers as getting new ones. This happens to companies for several reasons. The first cause is company habits which lead to company culture. For example, all companies naturally begin with the plan of obtaining new customers. They have to make it the company's number one priority. However, keeping existing customers should take the place of getting new ones early in the life of a company. Getting new customers should become secondary. This means budgets, and personnel needs must shift to the new priority of keeping satisfied clients. And it is easier than most companies think. As companies grow shifting more investment to customer service, support and training is key.

Here is what we found and our customers love it:

  1. Make product training fun and meaningful. Make sure customers know all the features of your product, especially those that will make their life easier or more convenient

  2. After training customers want a phone call to be answered within 3 rings

  3. Avoid having to transfer to another department. Get the customer with the right service or training rep on the first call.

  4. If it is an issue they want the same priority care as if it were a new sale

  5. Train customer service reps with the same or more care and your sales staff

  6. USe modern technology such as auto attendants to create a customer-friendly guide to service.

  7. Finally, if a company thinks first of customer experience as opposed to shaving profit with technology the company will win the loyalty of its customer base and generate far more profits over time.


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