Good customer service is good marketing. Itís not a new idea, itís not a difficult concept, so why are we so bad at it?
A recent survey of 12 countries has found Australia ranks equal last with the UK on measures of service satisfaction. Over 80% of people in the survey felt companies in Australia are not doing anything extra to keep their business or are taking their business for granted. At a time when business is struggling can we really afford not to be in the business of making people happy?
Australia came in behind the US, France, Canada and India in the survey.
Only 2% reported that service here usually exceeds their expectations, and the majority would spend an average of 8% more for exceptional customer service.
‘Australians have a laid-back attitude and this might be translating to some businesses having a similar attitude,’ said Christine Wakefield, vice-president of American Express World Service Australia, which commissioned the survey.
Wakefield adds ‘‘the barometer clearly said customers want superior service and it’s certainly not being provided’‘.
I recently had a better experience:
You know when you buy something and you get sucked in with an offer because it comes with vouchers for additional products or services? Well that happened to my daughter a few months back when she bought a camera. She did the deal which came with $100 worth of digital printing.
Of course being 10 life is busy with doing Ďstuffí so some of the vouchers expired and then the shop closed down. So the situation was that we felt a bit cheated and pretty down about the whole thing. It didnít feel like weíd had much of a deal.
Taking on my parental responsibilities I decided to get in touch with the company just to see if there was anything we could do with the vouchers that were still in date. I wasnít honestly expecting to get anywhere but I said Iíd try. Imagine my surprise when I got an email back saying that they would honour the vouchers and I just had to mail them to the head office along with a CD of the images to print and they would process them and send them back free of charge.
So they have managed to turn a situation where a customer was feeling pretty bad into a very positive and happy customer, who is now telling a few thousand people about how good they feel about them.
So come on, itís not brain surgery, itís just good service.