Several years ago, the American Society for Quality Control ran a survey quantifying the reasons why companies lose customers. The survey showed that 68% of lost customers left because they were “turned away by an attitude of indifference on the part of a company employee.” The second reason for customer defection was “dissatisfaction with the product or service” which was mentioned by only 14%.
Customer Defection Reason #1 – Attitude of Indifference – 68%
Customer Defection Reason #2 – Dissatisfaction with Product or Service – 14%
Realize that almost five times more customers leave because of bad human relations than leave from product / service problems. Maybe it’s time for some attitude evaluation and adjustment at your place?
In the past month I’ve had the following experiences:
- The person who answered the phone said “Oh, he’s on another call, I’ll ask him to phone you back,” and he never called!
- I filled out an inquiry form on a website with a request for a quote, and I never got a reply!
- I had an appointment with a company representative who never showed up and never tried to contact me.
Note – we’re not talking about product or service quality, just the way these businesses demonstrate their interest in serving their customers.
Companies that work to provide great customer service by instituting policies and training staff to ensure customer satisfaction grow at a faster rate than those who continually “churn” their customer base. They have to spend more to attract new customers just to stay even.
Great Customer Service does not “just happen”. It comes from the core of the business. It starts with a Mission Statement and wends its way through motivation, training, inspiration, attitude, quantification, and review. It is a planned and orchestrated process just like manufacturing is a planned process with many components and operations. In other words, Great Customer Service is so much more than just being nice to people or following the “golden rule.”
It’s a three-step planned process to continually and constantly treat customers well (or at the very least… “not badly”).
- Start with a simple statement that describes how you want your customers treated.
- Compare that ideal level to the current level
- Institute improvement policies where needed. Create a regular measurement and reinforcement / retraining program.
What can you do to institute a program that will discover whether your staff exhibits an attitude of indifference? The sooner you start, the fewer customers you will lose.