Too big to care?

Google ChromeScreenSnapz370You’ve heard of “too big to fail” after the 2007-2008 financial crisis. There seems to be a variation of the “too big” theme that is creeping into large corporations that, while seeming to satisfy the short-term financial desires of executives and board members, is sacrificing the satisfaction and loyalty of the customer.

Too big to care is the symptom of companies that forgo aspects of their service and accessibility, all in the name of financial efficiency as companies mature and as the demand for fiscal growth mounts. They forget the very things that fostered their growth in the first place. But as difficult as it is for many companies to grasp, the old adage is true: Poor customer service costs more than good customer service.

Signs of misplaced cost-cutting at the expense of the customer experience include:

  • Removing the corporate phone number from their website
  • Eliminating personal customer service and/or tech support in favor of on-line support tickets or FAQ pages
  • Replacing a live receptionist with lengthy and complex auto-answered routing with no option for a live person
  • Penalizing store reps who spend time on customer service problems instead of directing customers to the web site
  • Reducing the training time and resources for customer service people

Oracle sponsored a customer service survey a while back that provided two important statistics:

  1. 89% of consumers began doing business with a competitor following a poor customer experience.

  2. 86% of consumers will pay more for a better customer experience.

Reducing the cost and resources of your customer service may seem preferable to cost cutting in other areas like product components, manufacturing and wages. But, in essence, by doing so you are reducing the overall quality of your product and eroding the reputation of your organization. And if you think people keep quiet about their discontent with your service, the Harvard Business review found:

  • 25% of customers are likely to say something positive about their customer service experience
  • 65% are likely to speak negatively
  • 23% of customers who had a positive service interaction told 10 or more people about it
  • 48% of customers who had negative experiences told 10 or more others

Speaking for myself, I am very vocal about those companies that cut corners in the service they provide me in order to reduce their costs. I’m an extremely loyal customer, but if I feel you aren’t enthusiastic about servicing me after the purchase, you will most likely lose me. Am I that different from most?

History is full of large corporations that got too big to care, and now how many of them are at the top of their respective industries? You’re never too big to care.

About Mike Lake

Mike is the Senior Vice President of Marketing for Evergreen Trading. When not playing jazz trombone he is probably obsessing about writing content that will capture the attention and interest of business people and fellow learning junkies everywhere.

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