Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Cost of Poor Service

We have all been there at one time or another. You've experienced the poorest service you have ever received. We do not forget either. Today I still remember the episode referenced below as if it were yesterday.

Calculating the Cost of Poor Customer Service
By: Carole DeJarnatt, Alliance Advisors, Inc.

Have you ever thought about how much money has been lost due to poor customer service? Is it happening within the organization you are affiliated? Or perhaps you are the owner and are not aware of the practices of your employees.

A few months ago I had decided to purchase a new laptop. Being a business owner and from a small town, I try to frequent the local businesses if they have what meets my needs. This timeframe happened to be the week after Christmas so I am thinking there are lots of sales going on and I should be able to purchase something at a decent price. I tried the local store that claimed to have new computers and laptops.

I decided to call first so I could talk with someone on the telephone. An answering machine answered the telephone and informed “they were busy with a customer and would return the call.” I did not leave a message. I tried again an hour later and the same scenario. Finally on the third call I left a message stating “I wonder how many customers you have lost due to no response.” I did not leave any contact information. Later that day I decide to drive to the store since it was only a few miles from my home. When I arrived at the store, I find out the store is not open at all. It was closed for the week!

To say the least I did not purchase my laptop from this store, nor will I purchase from them in the future. I did send them a letter notifying them of situation that occurred and how I could help them improve on their services. I never heard from them.

What do you think this cost that company? I spent approximately $700 on my computer, but was I the only customer that tried to contact them that week? Probably not. Being the only local store to have the services and items they claim to carry, there were probably some inquiries.

In my opinion, this company could be more appealing than the Best Buys and Circuit City’s of the world. Being a local company, they have the opportunity to show their customer they are the one stop shop for all their computer needs with the home town appeal. I much prefer to buy from a local company than one of the bigger ones when their customer service is the personal touch. All of us want the personal touch when dealing with companies and I believe the smaller business has the greatest opportunity to apply and show they care.

The big companies also have the opportunity for personal touch but I have not come across one yet that does it well. Customer service is so important, no matter whether you are big or small. People want to buy from companies they know who will take care of them but also care about them. It is not about what they do but it is about what they do for you! Take care of your customers’ everyday as if it were their birthday! Do we not try to be nice to people on their birthdays if we are aware?

Carole DeJarnatt
Alliance Advisors, Inc.

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