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Your Company
Are You Part of the 2%?

Volume Five, Issue 11
November 2009
by Deborah Chaddock Brown

Survey Says:  2 percent of businesses previously ranking "average" for customer service have made building customer relationships their focus and have received an "above average" rating.

Over the past eighteen months of economic struggle, businesses have had to make some tough decisions:

  • Reduce staff hours or eliminate positions
  • Reduce the products and services offered
  • Reduce marketing spend
  • Eliminate or reduce training and staff development
As consumers, we know it is true.  The first thing most companies eliminated when times got tough - customer service.

Some of the customer service - or rather, lack there of - stories seem so ridiculous as to fall in the "Fable" category.  In John Tschohl's recent newsletter he tells the story of a customer wanting to place an order for 1200 mugs.  The service rep wasn't able to accommodate the special shipping instructions and ended the call by saying "We get 800 orders a day. We are doing fine. Your order does not matter."

This absurd response to a customer isn't unusual.  Sadly, as the businesses have tighten their belts, the first thing that has apparently bit the dust is customer care.

John DiJulius recently shared a comparison of survey results in which customers were asked to rank a company's service from 1 -5 with one being unacceptable and 5 representing World Class.  In the survey from 1997 to 2007, 38% of businesses fell in the Average category.  However, in the past 18 months 15% of those business have fallen into the unacceptable or below average ratings.  Is customer service a thing of the past?

Two percent of business turned their focus to building customer relationships and their customers noticed!  So which category are you in?

We talk about building relationships and reaching out with marketing and social media, but when we actually meet the customer - do we make a difference or tell them with words and deeds that they just don't matter?

If you held the mirror up to your business - would you see a company focused on building customer relationships?  Here are a few articles that you might find of value when creating a "customer-first" culture:

The Art of Customer Service
How do you define customer service?
Surveying your customers

Top Tips for Fostering Customer Loyalty
Dealing with Difficult Customers
What Are Your Customers' Must-Haves and Can't Stands?

Need help?  We help businesses communicate with their customers on a regular basis with newsletters and through social media.  We also provide mystery shop experiences and  training. 
Give us a call.  We'll help you be part of the 2%!  330-414-8792


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