Wednesday, July 11, 2007

"Press '1' To Be Ignored. Press '2' To Be Booted Out"

Please Stop Calling Customer Service for Customer Service!

By David Miranda

ABC News ran an interesting article, "Your Call Is Important To Us -- Not!" (You can check out the video piece here.) This "man bites dog" story centers around this week's announcement that Sprint has booted about 1000 of their customers for habitually complaining about their service. This is, apparently, one way to get the J.D. Power quality scores higher - boot the complainers. Sprint is not an isolated case, just the latest publicized offender.

The worst offenders, by category, according to the article, "invariably tend to be cell phone companies, cable TV companies, airlines and banks. These companies are among those that turned up in surveys by consumer and customer service consultants: AOL, Albertson's, Bank of America, Best Buy, Dell, Day's Inn, Home Depot, Sprint, Wells Fargo. "

The article notes the following:

But why do so many companies not get it?

A combination of factors, from the increasing reliance on automated phone systems to companies slashing budgets for their customer service divisions to disgruntled employees passing on their frustration, has provoked customers into voicing their complaints about the way companies treat them.

But let's give credit where credit is due and end on a positive note.

According to the article, the following companies are consistently cited for the quality of their service: Starbucks, Nordstrom, Four Seasons Hotels, Lexus, LL Bean, Chick-fil-A, Ritz Carlton, FedEx, UPS, and Cadillac.

Is it any wonder that these are some of the most respective brands in the marketplace? What do they have in common? - a culture of service and inspired leadership.

Next time you are treated badly, press "disconnect" and take your business to someone who wants it.

Photo Credit: Photodisc