Regaining Standards of Customer Service
In today?s business, customer service is a rapidly vanishing standard for employees of large corporations such as banks, telephone companies and insurance companies There are several reasons for the demise of true customer service and the circumstances of such demise addressed here are the use of first names only, limited to access to real decision makers and inadequate recourse for unhappy consumersIn today?s business, customer service is a rapidly vanishing standard for employees of large corporations such as banks, telephone companies and insurance companies. There are several reasons for the demise of true customer service and the circumstances of such demise addressed here are the use of first names only, limited to access to real decision makers and inadequate recourse for unhappy consumers.
The first tier and circumstance that would vastly improve today?s current status of customer service would be a training customer service representatives that their jobs are on the line based on an objective rating of what percent of individuals whom they deal with have their problems resolved in a positive manner with no further steps necessary. This means that putting off a customer by requiring new paperwork, or new steps for the customer to take before the problem can even be addressed would not satisfy the customer service representatives? required percentage, individuals shuffled to other personnel or supervisors would not satisfy this percentage and that claiming there is nothing to be done in a particular instance would not satisfy this percentage. Monthly assessments of such percentage requirements, which should hover over 60%, would be cause for immediate firing. This change would start with customer service representatives providing their first and last names or a specific identification number so that they can be easily identified. Second, this would require provision of the real solution provided by the representative, all claims that further information was requested or that the individual calling in was unreasonable would be acceptable but would not mitigate the failure on the part of the customer service representative to solve the problem. The failure of today?s customer service representatives to deviate from a script that often seems to be a mechanized attempt to put off consumers would further be addressed by a clear path to individuals within the company with actual authority to solve problems that remain unsolved by customer service representatives.
Access to individuals with significant decision making power is often denied because consumers are viewed as unimportant. Angry consumers end up having to go outside a given business to have their problems addressed whether it is to an attorney general or some other governmental consumer agency, business bureaus and perhaps, even ultimately small claims court. If, after instituting a better quality of customer service representative as described above, still results in unhappy customers, albeit fewer than before the changes described above, consumers should have a direct path to a company employee with significant decision making power. This second tier of consumer recourse should resolve issues left unresolved by customer service representatives. If after such consideration by a corporate decision maker still leaves a consumer unhappy, companies should be required to simplify the consumer?s actions in obtaining further consideration. This third tier would supply forms to the consumer that indicate the state agencies and authorities that oversee the specific business. Such governmental agencies would have sufficient means for such review without additional expenditure or expansion because of the reduction in complaints that come to them because of lazy or incompetent customer service representatives at tiers one and two. Instead of their own internal appeal process, companies themselves should be required to report their failures in resolving consumer problems. In the event such numbers did not match up with actual reports filed by consumers, the companies should be subject to fine.
In today?s economy there is no shortage of capable individuals ready to step into the shoes of employees unwilling or unable to accommodate consumer complaints.
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