I love customer service. I love giving good customer service, I love receiving it. I do not love seeing poor customer service. As far as I am concerned, there is no excuse for giving poor customer service (with the exception of traumatic events in a persons life affecting them at work of course) and I feel that it is something which has been largely forgotten or discarded by many.
This is a topic I really care about and is close to my heart. One I could talk about for days on end, giving examples of good and poor customer service, how to motivate and train staff, how to deal with certain situations, for the purposes of this post, however, I will not go into all of that. Perhaps in the future I will dedicate a series of posts around the subject, but not today.
Today, I’m talking about the attitude of many businesses, companies, shops etc that their customer don’t matter as long as they are buying. (Small disclaimer, this post relates to British customer service – having had little experience of customer service in other countries, I cannot really comment on them)
So, I was recently flying to Poland, with the delightful airline, Ryan Air. I won’t give you a run down of the experience in general, I’m sure you an imagine. I had an incident with a member of Ryan Air staff, who treated me and my family as if we were not only a nuisance, but as if we were intentionally trying to ruin her day and mess up their systems, she was incredibly rude and I was personally offended
I tweeted Ryan Air 5 minutes after this happened saying ‘Discusted at the appaling service just given to by a member of
@flyryanair -train your staff better, do not treat your customers like this’
As you might expect – no reply.
One month on, and I have told this story to many people I know, and have had a similar response to ‘Well what do you expect, it’s Ryan Air!’ and ‘Why did you pick Ryan Air to fly with then, you know what they are like!’
This really disgruntled me. I feel that, if you pay for something, you deserve to be treated a certain way, not to be treated with contempt, ridicule, condesending attitudes, or other such negative behaviours. Ryan Air simply SHOULD care more about their customers. However, from what I have heard, they do not care, and as they are still getting flights booked, they will not change. This is disgraceful.
This is an example of how attitudes to customer service by companies and their staff have changed over the years for the worse, and companies wonder why internet sales are so far up! (Customer service is still a factor within a website however, do not dismiss it just because there is no face-to-face interaction.)
I firmly believe that a shift needs to happen, people like Mary Portas have, and are trying to improve this.
So, my belief is that if a person receives great customer service, it might brighten their day a little, and they will remember it, and look fondly on your company, shop or organisation. However, if a customer receives POOR customer service, they will also remember it, but so will their friends, family, Twitter followers etc.
How can you afford to treat YOUR customers?