When you Lose Your Customer Service Focus


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What most businesses fail to understand is that when you lose your customer focus and deliver bad customer service it’s actually more costly to your business than great customer service.

Any failure in the delivery of service actions is interpreted by customers as bad customer service.

Bad service drives much, much more than just a poor customer experience – it reduces revenue and drives up costs. It’s the last half of the equation that so many people fail to understand.

The experience a customer has in dealing with your business drives much more than the prospect of repeat business or sales growth. Typically, business believes that delivering great service will cost them too much, and so they simply deliver what they think they need to. Or worse still, they focus on the timeliness, not the quality.

Steve Mitchinson, with TeamRed Solutions shared some sound advice concerning the real cost your business faces when you lose your customer service focus and fail to deliver good customer service. TeamRed specializes in customer service and business transformation, leading clients to improved profits through changes that improve sales, customer satisfaction, retention and staff effectiveness.

The experience your business delivers is a reflection on your ability to balance the demands of customer service (volume and type of interactions) and the supply of resources and processes (effectiveness of response).

The Hidden Cost of Lack of Customer Service Focus

  • Rework: every error your business makes, costs money to rectify, and typically slows cash flow. Not all of those costs are measured or visible. The intangible cost is the effect on the customer
  • Loss of potential business: as the level of competition increases across nearly all industries, product quality becomes less of a differentiator. If you make your service offering less attractive than your competitors, price not be the most important consideration.
  • Higher contacts per transaction: the number of interactions you need to have with a customer at each stage of the process adds to your costs. Minimizing the number of quality interactions not only saves you money, but improves the customer experience.
  • Staff turnover: despite what some people choose to believe, most staff want to take pride in where they work. They are the ones that typically “wear the heat” for poor service and it can have a major effect on loyalty. Every time you lose a staff member you incur the costs of recruitment and training, and the hidden costs of low productivity during the initial periods, and typically lower quality as they learn their roles. These are real costs that can be avoided if you can retain your frontline staff – a key driver in retaining them is the satisfaction of their job. Few staff find responding to service failures or fixing errors particularly satisfying

Real Savings From Great Customer Service Focus

  • Lower cost to manage and service your client base = higher profits
  • Increased customer loyalty = increased revenue and lower marketing costs
  • Increased staff loyalty – low costs, better service = higher profits

It’s often a hidden opportunity, so ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you looked at your business from the customer’s perspective?
  • Have you looked at your business from your staff’s perspective?
  • Do you have your service priorities right?
  • Are you missing out on a source of competitive advantage?
  • What could you do differently?

Address these issues and you’re on the road to improved customer service focus and more effective results from customer service actions.

The positive experience you customers receive is dependent on your focus on customer needs. It takes good customer focus, understanding how to be customer-focused, customer focused training, and ensuring that every individual who works with customers understands how to keep customer focus in order to achieve the positive results customers expect.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Flavio Martins
Flavio Martins is the VP of Operations and Customer Support at DigiCert, Inc., a leading provider of enterprise authentication services and high-assurance SSL certificates trusted by thousands of government, education, and Fortune 500 organizations. Flavio is an award-winning customer service blogger, customer service fanatic, and on a mission to show that organizations can use customer experience as a competitive advantage win customer loyalty. Blog: Win the Customer!


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