Milwaukee Biz Blog: Where has all the good customer service gone?

Try being a secret shopper at your own company

Former "Project Pitch It" mogul Jim Lindenberg.

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 03:41 pm

What has happened to good customer service? Am I the only one who has noticed a drop over the years?

  • I boarded a plane and the stewardess was eating a sandwich while saying, ‘Hi,’ to everyone.
  • I sent two emails and left one voicemail call to a car dealership to schedule service, and no one emailed or called me back.
  • I walked into a couple of car dealerships to buy a car, and no one greeted me or asked if they could help.
  • I went to a fast food restaurant, and the drive through line was very long, so I went inside where the line was also very long.
  • I wait in long lines almost everywhere and top management thinks this is okay.
  • I ask for help from customer service, and they give me an attitude like you are bothering them. I try to explain things, and they don’t listen or they get defensive.
  • I make appointments with service people and they show up late or don’t show up at all.

I could go on and on, and I am sure you all have many stories about recent poor customer service.

Good customer service keeps our customers coming back and helps a customers’ desire to refer a good company to others. I know no one tries to give poor customer service, but why in society are we neglecting it?

People are too busy. People just text or email. People don’t follow up. People over-promise and under-deliver. People don’t call you back.  People don’t care. People make things too complicated.

Companies don’t have contact information on their web sites. Companies don’t check voicemail systems. Companies don’t train their people. Companies have too many meetings or conference calls. Companies don’t staff adequately. Companies make things too complicated.

How do we fix this very disturbing trend? I encourage everyone to be a secret shopper at their own company.

Try to place an order by phone. Try to place an order by email or web site. What happens?

Try to get a quote from your company. What happens?

Try to express a complaint. What happens?

Try to return something. What happens?

Please do what you say you are going to do. Please don’t over-promise and under-deliver. Please don’t get defensive when a customer is talking.

Please be polite and mind your manners. Please treat people the way you would want to be treated. Please make sure your people are properly trained.

Please make sure your people have the proper tools and resources. Please don’t over-complicate your customer service process.

Please remember a customer does not really buy on price. They buy on good customer service and strong, trusting relationships.

KISS-Keep It Simple S_____.

Jim Lindenberg is a entrepreneur and philanthropist in Southeastern Wisconsin. He has owned eight companies with experience in distribution, fitness, manufacturing, non-profit, retail, and the sports market. He currently owns and operates Lindy Enterprises, a small business consulting company.

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