What ever happened to good customer service?

What ever happened to good customer service?

What ever happened to good customer service?

Are the right people taking care of your customers?

Many of our articles have adressed hiring the right people for the right jobs, especially in key positions such as sales and customer service. Many times, HR personnel share with us how they feel that it is getting to be more and more difficult to find the right people for the right positions.

Unfortunately, complaining and not doing anything about it, certainly does not resolve the problem.

We have found after quite a few years now in training and coaching personnel responsible for hiring within organisations on how to create and put in place innovative ways to attract and retain talent within their companies, and how to use a more efficient selection process, that those who truly attain significant results, are those who are willing to change the way they have been hiring employees for the past decades!

Human beings resist change, that is a normal reflex. Change means incomfort for a while, means changing our regular habits, means being willing to put in a bit more effort at first in order to learn and master new ways of selecting and hiring personnel.

However, by resisting change, we resist life itself. Because, nothing, absolutely nothing remains the same. Even a 100 year old tree keeps on growing. The moment it’s growth has ended this naturally means life has also ended for this tree.

So why do we resist change? If we remain open to it, and choose to embrace it and ride the new wave, and look for the benefits in the change, we can attain our goals and generate greater results much more quickly.

Too much energy and time is spent resisting and complaining about the necessary change. Not doing anything about it is also a choice.

I love to repeat to my clients, the true meaning of insanity is continuously making the same choices, doing the same actions and being completely surprised that we have the same results!

I just experienced two situations, both within this same month, where it was evident, that the customer service people I had to deal with were definitely not in the right positions.

The impact of these wrong choices, are devastating to an organisation. You not only lose one customer, you lose approximately twenty, because one unsatisfied customer will share their unpleasant experience with approximately 20 other people. We cannot even measure the true impact because these other people will also share this negative situation with others.

Recently, we moved our offices. We had been using the telephone and internet services of a very well known telecommunications company for many years. Our new order for all of the necessary changes of lines due to our move were all confirmed by a customer service business specialist beginning of May of this year. All was confirmed and installations were confirmed to be done on the Monday following our move over the previous weekend.

To our surprise, the telephone technician showed up, informing us that he had nothing to do with our internet line and that another department was in charge of that part.

After following up the next day, we were transferred after over twenty minutes of being put on hold to another department which apparently are the business internet people.

Another customer service representative put us on hold once more for over twenty minutes and then came back to let us know someone would be in contact with us within 24 to 48 hours. After this time, still no news. We call back again, to be put on hold again for over twenty minutes to be told that someone would show up on the Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. they could not confirm a specific time.

Friday arrives ( we are already one week without internet service and we are a business customer). We call back on the Friday morning to see if we can at least find out if this techinician is going to show up morning or afternoon to make sure someone is there to greet this person. We are put on hold another fifteen minutes and the customer service representative comes back with a nonchalent attitude stating, we have decided that you are too far from our service central therefore, we cannot offer you our internet services! They had our order and had confirmed it since May 2nd, we were now June 22nd!

Needless to say, that did not go down too well. We were also informed that since we had a five year contract, they are in their right to invoice us for this service since it was our responsibility to make sure that we move within their service area! As if we have a detailed map of where their services are across Canada!

We received an invoice from them the following month, which took one of my employees three phone calls of at least thirty minutes each to clear up their own mess. My associate had to ask for the customer service representative’s supervisor, since this employee was not at all getting it and was to top things off, very arrogant!

We have decided to take our business elsewhere, and yes, I have been sharing this very unpleasant experience with key people within large organisations, who in turn confirmed their unpleasant experiences with this same organisation.

The impact of mediocre employees is tremendous. This is why it is important to pay more attention to who we are hiring. Do we have the right person for the right job?

In this same month, I went through another very unpleasant experience with a very well known hotel on the Southshore which we had selected for our annual convention.

Reservations were made since beginning of May, meeting rooms, meals etc. for our members coming from all over the Province. Invitations were all sent out with the hotel address and directions on how to get there. We had already received early registrations for this event.

I was to meet with the sales representative to sign the final contract on July 18th. Following my follow-up call to confirm our meeting time to finalize everything, this person calls me back to let me know that finally our reservations are cancelled because their renovations will not be finished on time. Two months notice only, prior to a major event!

When I asked since when had this person known that the renovations were not going to be finished? With a “I don’t care” attitude, this person confirmed that she had known since the week before the July 18th meeting.

When I asked if she realised the impact of not letting us know ahead of time, that invitations had been sent out with the hotel address etc, and that now it was going to very difficult for us to find another hotel at such short notice? I was answered basically that this was not her problem with a tone of voice which basically was also letting me know that they did not care!

I will never do business with that hotel ever again! Our entire organisation committee was flabergasted by such an attitude and lack of professionalism.

Once again, this employee is definitely not in the right position.

How many customers is this hotel losing over a year? The same for the telecommunications company, how much market are they losing per year?

What is our perception of these companies when being faced with such incompetent and unprofessional service?

There is a war for talent out there, some people do not seem to realize it and are not being proactive in putting into place what is needed to attract and retain quality personnel.

What are you attracting? Are you satisfied with the results? Are you paying attention to how your customers are being treated by your sales and customer service personnel? Do you have the right people in your key positions? Are you tolerating mediocrity?

If your organisation is not paying attention to these very important factors, once thing is for sure, you will lose in this war for talent! You will be stuck with what is left on the market and your competition will be more then pleased with that outcome.

Let’s pay more attention to our most important resource, the people we are hiring!

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