Whatever Happened To Customer Service?

September 17, 2014

Three weeks ago I was involved in a motorcycle accident. No one was seriously injured, but my bike sustained some damage. The insurance claims process was a breeze and repairs were speedily approved; however, despite multiple calls to the repair shop, it has not yet been repaired. The shop waited to order parts until I called, rather than calling me to get the ball rolling; and during my last phone conversation the mechanics told the receptionist to tell me that they had not yet had time to fix it but would call. This, from a place I’ve done well over $10,000 in business with over the past four months! Whatever happened to customer service? While I understand things take time and that I’m not the only customer, I’m flabbergasted that it has taken this long to get my motorcycle back. What’s more irritating, however, is the way I’m treated when I call: like an inconvenience, a time-waster. Obviously the mechanic can’t take time from his day to speak to me himself to explain the delay, because 24 hours later he hasn’t called. God forbid he do so, given that customers like me are solely responsible for his paycheck! I said I understand that I’m not their only customer, but when I call to inquire what’s happening with my multi-thousand-dollar investment, I should be treated like I’m their only customer. That’s good customer service, and it seems to be a lost art among many companies today. This isn’t just sour grapes over an isolated incident with a single company, either. It seems as though most of the customer service representatives I speak to any more are inconvenienced by my calls. I’m certain I’m not the only person experiencing this shift in attitudes. Great customer service is why the best companies thrive – it’s what Zappos was founded on, for example – and lack thereof is why poor companies falter. Whether a customer has spent $1 or a $1,000, that customer should always be treated as the single most important priority, bar none. Hindsight is 20/20, and if I could have foreseen such inordinate service I would have purchased a motorcycle from a different company, one with a track record for stellar customer service. Which brings me to my point: even though great customer service should be a given, it is most certainly not. It’s on you to do your research before you buy to ensure that, if indeed something goes awry, you can count on customer service for communication and help. Take, for example, our company PsPrint, which has a dedicated customer service line you can call to speak with a real live customer service representative who will work to get you the help you need and treat you well throughout the entire process. More companies need to be this way. In the age of social media, when everyone is subject to scrutiny and personal relationships with brands are more meaningful than ever, particularly as it relates to sales, I’m shocked more companies don’t dedicate more resources to ensuring quality customer service. Whatever happened to customer service? It got lost in the shuffle, but we can bring it back. Only do business with companies who have proven themselves in this department, and if you operate a small business, do everything within your power to ensure customers are treated like royalty. Do these two things, and you’ll not only enjoy great customer service, you’ll also enjoy the increased business you get by offering it yourself.

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About Brian Morris

Brian Morris serves in various capacities as a freelance writer, content developer and public relations specialist for growing small businesses. When he’s not writing, he can be found on the racquetball court - usually getting his tail kicked by guys 20 years older.

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The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.