You Are Your Company (and So is Everyone Else)

First, some statistics. Stop me if you’ve heard these before: 
  • If we receive good service from someone, we tell between 9 and 12 people. 
  • If we receive bad service from someone, we tell 20 people. 
  • If we have a problem, and the first person that we speak to responds quickly to that problem, 82% of us will do business with that person's organization again. (Significantly, 1 out of 5 of us still won't.)
  • If we have a problem, and the first person that we speak to responds slowly (or not at all), 91% of us will never do business with that person's organization again. 
  • All other factors being equal, we will pay up to 10% more for the same product just to get better service. 
Source: Customer Service for Dummies

We don’t receive good or bad service from companies - we receive good or bad service from people. For the duration of each and every interaction that each employee has with a Customer, internal or external, they are your company. Your Customer’s entire impression of your organization rests on their shoulders.

Try This Experiment
Using an outside line (preferably one that will not identify you), call your organization's most-advertised telephone number. Tell the first person who answers that you have a problem with your account. Make it a relatively simple issue. Write down how many times you are transfered, and how many times you are put on hold.

Call again. This time, you have a technical problem with a product. Again, write down how many times you are transfered and your total time on hold.

Last call. This time, you are just generally unhappy with how you have been treated. You may need a new sheet of paper for how many times you are transfered and how long you are put on hold for this one.

Now you have something interesting to discuss at your next management meeting. Start with this: Today's Customer is willing to wait on hold about 20 seconds before hanging up and calling your competitor.

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