Declining Customer Service or Rising Standards?

Chances are you’ve either heard a story or seen something posted on social media about someone getting terrible customer service. So, what’s up with that? Is customer service really going downhill or are our expectations higher than they used to be?

Proof of Poor Customer Service

Most successful companies understand the importance of providing good customer service. In fact, the leading reason most businesses lose customers is because they are unhappy with the service. One survey discussing customer dissatisfaction states that a whopping 91% of its respondents complained about customer service because they had to contact the same company several times before their problem was resolved.

Other complaints in the customer service survey included:

  • Long hold times while on the telephone
  • Companies making it hard to do business with them
  • Companies that promise one thing but deliver another

It appears customer service really is getting bad. Or does it seem worse because our expectations have gotten higher?

The Truth About Higher Expectations

Some business proponents and customer service experts say our standards of customer service are not getting higher, instead the expectations of customers are different than what they used to be. We can all thank advanced technology for this. The ability to receive information at the speed of light and get it delivered into the palm of our hands has enabled our “we want it now” mentality. Thus, living in the age of instant gratification has erased our need for patience.

Along with super quick customer service, we are still demanding all the other aspects of great customer service:

  • Personalization – If we are shopping online but have a question, there better be the option of chatting or talking to a real live person
  • Constant contact – We want that follow-up call or e-mail to verify a product has been sent or service has been completed
  • Provide feedback – Believe it or not, customers like to complete surveys and provide feedback but the companies must do their part to act on feedback given

So, maybe customer service isn’t so bad after all? Maybe our expectations have changed because of the digital age in which we live, or maybe the two factors have met somewhere in the middle at a lower equilibrium of happiness.

What do you think? Have you gotten poor customer service recently? Or did you think the customer service was not up to par due to your new set of expectations?

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