How Much Does a Bad Attitude in Customer Service Cost You?

We’ve all had bad days.  The car wouldn’t start, the kids were slow in getting ready and caused you to be late for a meeting, you overslept, you had an argument with a loved one…..  All of these are valid reasons for having a bad attitude… but only your model of the world.  If these reasons cause you to have a bad attitude in the eyes of your customer, it could cost you dearly.

Take, for example, these statistics quoted just last week in  CRM Weekly – Customer Disservice: How Much Is It Costing You? By Anna Thibodeaux September 1, 2008.

“According to a 2006 survey released by a group within the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, a typical business only hears from 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers; the other 96 percent leave quietly. Of that 96 percent, 68 percent never reveal their dissatisfaction because they perceive an attitude of indifference in the owner, manager or employee.

But a typical dissatisfied customer will tell eight to 10 people about their experience. One in five will tell 20.”

If you know the lifetime value of your customers, these numbers are astronomical.  The scariest part is that most businesses, according to the article above, don’t even know why the customers are leaving, so they are ignorant in how to fix sagging profits.  Statistics show us that a mere 2% increase in customer retention has the same impact as a 10% reduction in costs.

Be it the customer was given the wrong information, the snarky phone receptionist, the cashier or salesperson that appeared to be bothered by your mere presence, an attitude of indifference, any time the customer feels that you are not on their side, it will greatly impact the level of customer loyalty they feel.

Being on the side of your customer is the bare minimum requirement for customer service.  Often times, the customers will demand and expect much more than the bare minimum.  But, most of the time this is appreciated.  The article quoted above goes on to give further examples.

“Service is a huge defining element,” LeBlanc of Hello Sushi says. “You can have a five-star restaurant, but if it doesn’t have good service, what’s the reason to go back? Our guests are looking for something unique.”

That also means going the extra step, LeBlanc says. She recalls when a woman came into the restaurant with her 4-year-old granddaughter, who asked for milk. The restaurant doesn’t serve milk, but an employee slipped out to a nearby coffee shop, bought a glass of milk and brought it to the child at no charge.

“I don’t think you can go to school to learn service,” LeBlanc says. “If you don’t have the love, then it’s something that you won’t learn.”

This goes hand in hand with finding the right employees and staff that personify your corporate culture mindset.  This mindset must be geared toward customer service excellence if you wish to distinguish yourself from your competitors.  Remember, the customer really doesn’t care that much about your product or service that you provide.  They can get basically the same thing from your competitors. What they do care about is how they FEEL when they are involved with you and your organization.

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