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Wall Street Sign. Author: Ramy Majouji
Image via Wikipedia

We’re in an economic downturn, the worst in our generation, and the drive is for businesses to cut costs at every opportunity.

Companies announcing results on Wall Street recently beat expectations – not bad in the circumstances – but the norm was for profits to be met by cutting costs over increasing revenues.

This creates dangers for customer service; an easy place to start the cuts. I wonder if it’s beginning to show.

For example, the car insurance is due for renewal. The comparison web-site shows that a saving one-third can be achieved by switching.

Let’s investigate the companies providing cheaper options:

  • Company 1 – couldn’t get through to contact centre. Held in a queue for 10-minutes and gave up
  • Company 2 – web-site was difficult to navigate – some of the information wasn’t up-to-date
  • Company 3 – got through to contact centre – arranged call back as they are busy. Call came a day later than planned.

OK so the economy isn’t easy….but no business can prosper if the basics aren’t in place and working to serve customers. You see….I’d rather pay a bit more and avoid the hassle; especially when the product is complex.

That’s why people don’t change broadband to match the cheaper package….or banks….and so forth.

So, another year with the same car insurance company – even though they are more expensive.

Companies regularly strip away support in their contact centres, surviving on high staff turnover and temporary call takers, persisting with sub-standard processes and failing to invest in their customer service infrastructure.

However, in all the cutting and reorganising, executives might do well to remember one thing. Companies who don’t exude confidence in their ability to deal with customers might just find it a bit harder to recover.

Picture by – RMajoujy