Customer Service is NOT just a cost

Yet again another big company and yet again another tragic customer service experience. Why do otherwise smart companies act so clueless when it comes to customer service?

For the bean-counters, dealing with customers is just a cost on a balance sheet. Something to hack away at to make the bottom line look better. Outsource, scale back. Put in automated helplines where you can’t get to speak to a human being. Charge for basic customer support by the minute. Staff the call center with people who don’t have a clue unless your query is right there in their script. Wash your brand down the drain. Of course good companies are not run by spreadsheet but by human beings with some sense. For some reason good companies are getting more rare.

It’s not just about losing your best customers. Great customer service is PROFITABLE.

  1. It’s all about you – Offer real value. Customer service is paramount. Give good service and your customers will reward you, directly in terms of buying services, and indirectly by introducing new customers – for free.
  2. Marketing costs – Repeat customers are more profitable, acquiring new customers is expensive.
  3. Growth two ways – cross and up-sell existing customers and bring in new customers. Bad customer service causes churn. When you are constantly losing customers you have to work extra hard just to stay constant. Do the math.
  4. Small steps, big results – Get people onto your prospect list then move them up in value by rewarding their trust. A good company can hook people on a small risk service and watch the profits roll in as people buy add-ons, upgrades and happily go from coach customers to five star VIPs.

I have to believe any company that treats their customers as cattle, downgrades their importance from “customer is king” down to “customer is someone who pays their bill on time and keeps their mouth shut”, doesn’t deserve to be in business.