Whatever happened to customer service?

March 17, 2008

For a country that likes orderly queues as much as the Brits, it seems odd that we are so bad at customer service. Advertising Agencies make vast amounts of profits each year for seemingly repeating the same adverts (Mars – Private Eye 1205) and yet no one has sought to put advertising money to better use by transferring the investment into training front line staff.

Good customer service makes a retailer stand out… ITSU for example are brilliant at it. The store on Regents Street where I often pick up lunch should be used as a case study for how to train staff. Servers are always polite, tidy and helpful. YoSushi!, however, spends remarkably more on its marketing and communications ( I think Limelight do the PR) and are a mess. Of the three restaurants that I’ve been into, surly and uncommunicative service have been the order of the day.

Other than getting a leg up on the high horse, what’s my point?

If major high street brands spent more training staff on how to deal with members of the public and concentrating on keeping the customers they have, rather than advertising for new ones, they might find the whole exercise a great deal more profitable.To use another example, I pay more for my mobile because on the whole, I find 02 staff helpful. When I think about my other brand choices, I see a similar pattern developing.

Internal comms, employee satisfaction or internal advertising… call it what you want. Just do it!

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4 Responses to “Whatever happened to customer service?”

  1. Diana Says:

    Point taken Alain and I agree, but I believe there is still a very real need for branding for the companies that spend their money on training rather than adverts. A good balance between the two would be ideal, don’t you think?

  2. Witness the Fitness Says:

    Surely the answer is to make everyone in retail take one of the ‘McDonalds Degrees’ which our Grand Leader has been peddling. Not only would employees learn the importance of customer satisfaction, but YoSushi! might actually learn about some good hygenic practice aswell…

  3. yachi Says:

    You are so right. It is bad to ignore regular customers for them.


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