Bad customer service

Published 11:39 am Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Do you remember the good old days when businesses truly cared about you as a customer? You were made to feel that they wanted to make you a repeat customer.

Well, that does not appear to be the case today. Lousy  customer service appears to be the norm among large and small businesses.

Blogs about lousy customer service from consumers is sometimes so venomous, that some postings have to be either deleted. Customers often learn quickly that public relations around the sale of a product doesn’t necessarily mean that a company will be appreciative if you attempt to return a purchased item.

Virtually every American who has purchased goods can recount horror stories in attempts to secure quality customer service. Companies can in fact do a better job in training their personnel that customers are important to the success of the business.

Consumers can become so frustrated with the customer service of a company that it can result in verbal confrontations, even violence. Each year, the media reports of confrontations that occur between consumers and customers. We read of regular accounts of fights even occurring on airline flights between flight attendants and passengers.

At an Atlanta restaurant last year, a family, after burying a loved one, retreated to the establishment known for its great food. What happened at the restaurant between the family and the employees went viral in social media. A family member thought an employee was rude in taking his order,  and a brawl took place that resulted in law enforcement being called to restore order.

Lousy customer service is expensive to business. Bad customer service cost businesses more than $80 billion per year in the United States and over $300 billion worldwide. There is no doubt that businesses need to take their customer service practices more seriously. It is estimated that 75 percent of customers find it difficult to get the attention of a representative. When this happens, customers tend to give up in frustration.

The operational premise of businesses years ago was, “the customer is always right.” Sadly, that does not appear to be true today.

Dr. Glenn Dowell is an author and columnist who currently lives in Georgia. He began his career as an Instructor at Texas Southern University. He has been a guest speaker on major college campuses, including having appeared on TV programs such as the Oprah Winfrey Show. He may be reached at