It’s time to hire The A Team!!!
Woohoo people, it’s my favourite time of the year – Customer Service Week! I’m sure you’re as excited as I am. I mean, what’s not to love? And as last week we learnt how much substandard service was costing customers, this is the perfect time to make sure you’re part of the solution – and not part of the £10 billion problem. Yes, you read that right; poor customer service is costing UK consumers £10 billion each year.How can it be so much?
If you add in faulty products and delivery delays, the actual amount rockets to £23 billion. See, I was easing you in gently. The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) details money spent trying to fix or replace poor quality goods and lost earnings due to time spent trying to resolve a problem as the main culprits. And the sector with the most complaints? Shame on you, you telecommunications types because issues with TV, phone and the internet are our consumers’ biggest bugbear.
Across all sectors, 35% of consumers reported a problem with customer service last year and that stacks up to a monstrous total of 123 million complaints. I worked out how many that was per day, just to see if it made the whole thing more palatable, but I’m not sure it did (33,986 FYI). And this whole mess has been spotted by that Great British institution the Citizens Advice Bureau – and I warn you, their chief exec Gillian Guy did not mince her words.
“At the moment there are some companies who are ripping off consumers and undercutting businesses that do the right thing,” she says. “As well as hammering household finances, failing consumer markets hit essential parts of people’s lives that they rely on – like energy supply, transport, banking and insurance.”
So now we’ve been told good and proper.
Customer service in crisis! Man the lifeboats!
Breathe, my TMP Faithful, just breathe. The ICS have lots of advice on how to up your customer service game – and I particularly like their first tip: Get to know your customers. What have I been telling you? They also make another of my favourite points, that markets are changing and you need to keep your customer research fresh. Remember the guy who hadn’t invested any research in 7 years? And guess how they suggest you get to know your customers? They think you should ask them. Hallelujah!
Get to know your customers. Ask them what’s important. Find out what their perception of your business is and what their priorities are when engaging with your market.
Guess who’s good at that?
Not one to usually brag, but really, what the ICS are describing is exactly what I do. Not just me, obviously; there’s a whole TMP Team sat hanging off my every word (I wish). But it did make me think that it’s time for a reminder of what we do here.
I created The Monachie Project because for all the customer service consultancies around, nobody was getting to the heart of the matter – nobody was experiencing your business from the eyes of your market. That’s right – lots of people say they’re spending your hard-earned readies carrying out consumer research, but none of them are experiencing what it’s actually like to interact with the various touchpoints in your organisation. Now to me, that doesn’t make sense!!!
My consumer research consultants come from all walks of life and every demographic you can think of. It’s the only way you can be sure that the research you commission is relevant to all of your customers and prospects. Yes, some may say we’re a disparate bunch but that’s the way I like it!
There are 33,986 reasons every day why you need to find out what really matters to your customers – and how they see your business. But don’t feel down. Remember, if you think you have a problem and when no one else can help, you can hire The Monachie Project. And I promise, we’re much easier to find than The A-Team.