Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Customer Service -- Is it dead?

Have you enjoyed your latest visit with the friendly Customer Service Robot?

Did you find yourself going around and round in circles, being cut off, waiting a hour for a human being and then wondering which country you were in?

So what's knew?

It seems that Customer Service has gone the way of all great ideas when put into the hands of large corporations. It is ROIed to death.

The large corporations can turn to its accountants and risk managers and ask them to determine the risk/benefit ratio and cost of a product liability suit settlement. Based on which will be cheaper, fixing the problem with the product or risking customer dissatisfaction, they certainly don't really care about the "customer" nor the "service" only the odds.

. In a mass market, a customer is a commodity, not a brand. Not worth protecting. While we gurus may talk about the value of the individual customer and point to the cost of acquiring a customer and the loss of losing a customer -- the accountants can give management ten reasons why customer service is too costly. If Deeming had been listened to in terms of quality, rather than sold to management as a way to improve efficiency, maybe CS would hold a higher position in many organizations.

It is all ROI. There are many ways to skin the cat or the customer that don't involve the individual customer at all. Tax write offs, transfer pricing, hedges, arbitrage, and other creative accounting that cooks the books and leaves sales and customers out in the cold.

With technological change taking place so rapidly why waste money training the customer service people when the product that will be the source of the complaints will be replaced before we can schedule the workshop for the CS staff?

Let's face it, we grant corporations something God can't grant us individuals -- life in perpetuity. (Think GM, Lotus, Wang, Studebaker)

When you think you can live forever and the only goal is to be profitable anything goes. Us human know there is an end and maybe a reward or punishment so we have to care. Kill the corporation by putting a time limit on them and may be there might be better CS, especially if they get a second life for good service.

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