Get Asymmetrical with Customer Service

Get Asymmetrical with Customer Service

November 24, 2015

Few products or services are immune to the effects of customer service. Even Apple, which long has been known for its fanatical fans and unique products, offers strong customer care because the alternative is a slow migration away from its offerings.

A recent Gallup poll shows how various industries stack up in terms of customer care.

Interestingly, banks come out on top in terms of customer care, at least in the Gallup poll; roughly 38 percent of those surveyed by Gallup said branch banking offers excellent customer care, with 89 percent overall rating it either good or excellent.

Pharmacies also do well as a group when it comes to customer service; 34 percent said they offered excellent customer service, with 87 percent saying the customer service at pharmacies is good or better.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) also scored similarly, as did grocery stores. Farther down the line were convenience stores, which only had 20 percent saying they provided good customer service and both retail stores and fast food restaurants scoring at the bottom with less than 20 percent saying they had excellent customer care as a group.

What’s interesting, in my mind at least, is that higher value sales items seem to command higher ratings for customer service. With the exception of the USPS, the top scoring categories when it comes to customer care all have more money to throw at customer service. Banks are at top, fast food near the bottom.

While the Gallup poll does seem to imply that the more money thrown at customer service does affect how customers perceive service, businesses with smaller budgets or tighter margins need not fret. There are ways to improve customer service without massive financial outlays.

One of those ways is through the use of good self-service customer care offerings.

An Aberdeen report last year showed that companies with self-service programs enjoyed an almost 85 percent greater year-over-year increase in customer retention rates, one indication of good customer service.

Good self-service can be an equalizer, because self-serve is a relatively inexpensive customer care option that nonetheless reaches the heart of customer service: It solves customer problems quickly and easily.

So if a business doesn’t have the fat margins of a Chase Bank or an Apple, it still can score well on the important measure of customer service by leveraging solutions such as Aspect Software’s customer self-service platform.

The relationship between customer service spend and results might be real, but it isn’t iron-clad. Just get asymmetrical with your customer service offerings if your customer care budget is tight.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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