Thursday, September 16, 2004

Customer Service IS a Profit Center

(Seth Godin's customer service problems ,
and the offshore outsourcing warning
in the Federal Times, were the
inspiration for this one.)

Have you heard the new joke?
It's enough to make me choke.
"Customer service is never
a true profit center." customer dis-service a profit center?
Is customer disloyalty good for business ever?
Tell me, does that bad word of mouth
make profits head north...or head south?

Now listen up.
I'm only going to say this once:
Now listen up.
Don't be a foolish dunce.

Customer service IS a profit center.
Direct marketers have known this forever.
Good customer service
may consume more time,
but those who don't have it
are low forms of slime.

Let's skip the poetic rhymes
and get serious now.

It's possible to track
the fiscal effects of
poor customer service
vs. good customer service.

You don't receive a check
every time you provide
a service to a customer,
they don't pay for it usually.

But this doesn't mean
customer service is a loss,
a money-loser, unprofitable.

Each good service you give,
you gain a vote and a voice.

A vote from the customer
a vote of confidence
a vote of satisfaction
a vote of loyalty
a vote for continued purchasing.

A voice of the customer,
proclaiming your virtues,
encouraging others to try your product,
cheering you on to victory
over your competitors .

Customer service is profitable.
Customer service is an expected
feature included with the product,
like a owner's manual or warranty.

It's not something reluctantly
thrown in as a bonus.
It's not a peripheral issue.

Ever stop going to a restaurant,
not because the food was bad,
but because of poor service?

Companies that shove
customer service off on
incompetent, unconcerned
outsource providers...they anger me.

Dumb ass, ask your
marketing department
if "customer service"
is a fringe detail of a product.

Dumb ass, your competitors will
take good care of your customers
if you refuse to do so.

You think corporate profit
is a "numbers game"?
Just sell as many products to
as many people as possible,
and leave it at that?

Just sell it, then move on
to the next sucker?
Once they've bought it,
they're stuck with it?

Your big budget advertising
will reach more people
than the bad word of mouth
of dissatisfied customers?

Customer service as a
grudging add-on,
are you kidding?

That's like courting a woman
lavishly, then beating her up
once you've got a wedding ring
on her finger.

Idiotic. Sadistic. Amateur.

Relegating customer service
to a low priority
is the mark of advancing
suicidal insanity.

Offshore outsourcing
of customer service
and the service personnel
can barely speak English,
and they're happy with
$1.30 a day, since it's
"much more than what
other jobs in that country pay."

Companies think
they're saving money?
They're losing customers,
but saving money?
They're defiling their brand,
but saving money?
Creating a negative mental profile
in the minds of the public,
but saving money?

The outsourcing "logic" is:

your in-house staff is careless,
they don't check references,
they mis-place files,
they aren't detail-oriented,
they resist new procedures,
they're too comfortable,
they're not dedicated,
they don't take their work seriously...

But total strangers who know nothing
about your business or customer base...

...your sensitive information:
employee records,
medical data, encryption codes,
and network security...

are in good hands with them...??????

Yeah, right.

Go "save a lot of money" all you want.

I'll be laughing along with your competitors.

You're "saving a lot of money" while
you're losing a lot of customers.

Poor service kills great products,

and "mind-blowing advertising"
during the Super Bowl,

or "awesome giveaways"
on the Oprah Winfrey show,

won't save them from
the spreading sickness
of poor service and
bad post-sale attitudes.

"The customer is always right,
so just put her on hold.
Eventually she'll get exasperated
and hang up." = corporate greed-psychosis.

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