In today’s challenging consumer marketplace, businesses constantly compete to provide value-added services, quality merchandise, and astonishing discounts that can earn them the lion’s share of the market. Though, it seems that amongst all the competition and cut-throat survival strategies, many companies have forgotten the importance of offering basic, supportive customer service.
Have you recently experienced a longer-than-usual wait time trying to service your phone, or maybe you can’t seem to get a “live” customer service person on the phone to check your credit card balance?
Can you barely understand the guy on the other end of the line that you are trying to order a pizza from?
How about not being able to find anyone to tell you if this pot was microwave-safe, or if no one is available to get you the right size to try on a pair of shoes?
It is a fact. The quality of customer service everywhere around the world is dwindling and companies are not doing anything about it. Businesses are constantly trying to better their bottom-line, and this has resulted in lower wages, less experienced workers, and poorer customer care for frustrated, agitated customers waiting in line.
To make matters worse, companies are constantly outsourcing customer service call centers offshore to countries such as India and the Philippines. These call centers not only manage numerous clients using the same personnel, many of their workers have never even been to the country that their callers are from, hence not being able to understand the culture, mentality, or situation of callers and the issues they might be facing. Offshore call centers also tend to have their own native accent. While most of them are trained to speak in either British or American English, it is still difficult to understand them at times due to their underlying accents.
Local customer service personnel face a completely different problem altogether. Many companies hire untrained students or foreign labor to bring the cost of their customer service center down. With inadequate training and the inability to understand the customer, many in-person customer service representatives fail to effectively target the issue or address a customer’s need. Without proper training, representatives are unable to access situations or tend to customer demands efficiently. Some do not even compose themselves in a professional manner, bringing the reputation of the company down.
In such a competitive market, businesses cannot overlook this basic consumer need and still expect to stay ahead. Customers are becoming increasingly smarter and quicker to judge, leaving no room for error or poor service. It is important that small businesses and startups who want to set themselves apart begin training their staff from the very beginning. The small investment in customer service courses and workshops will prove beneficial and reap rewards to tremendous ways.