At the CRM show sponsored by DCI in New York, many of the attendees and speakers expressed a concern about how poor customer service is in all facets of day-to-day life. With all of the high-powered technology available to monitor, track and analyze the customer experience, we seem to have forgotten one of the basic tenets of good customer service timely and responsive service. It seems that as the economy and markets moved into a recession, so did the attitudes of many customer service representatives. I believe that this is the first area that should be addressed by all companies; otherwise they will see a very slow recovery for their businesses in the years ahead. For example, I purchased a Simmons Beautyrest mattress less than two years ago. This June, I could feel the springs in the mattress pressing into my back, which resulted in back pain that has lasted for months. The mattress came with a ten-year limited warranty. We called the company and were told that per the warranty, a technician would call us within two weeks to schedule an appointment to evaluate the mattress. When the technician did not call, we called the company again. We finally received a call from Simmons, and the technician came to conduct his analysis. When Simmons called with the results of the analysis, they said the mattress was the right height given the amount of time we had owned it, and they would do nothing for us. When we explained the problem was not the height of the mattress, but rather the springs, they said they did not guarantee our comfort or satisfaction with the product and there was still nothing they could do. They also stated that as consumers, we should have known the mattress was not right for us in the first place. Will I ever buy another Simmons? No. If they would have treated me in a timely manner and taken some responsibility for the nonperformance of their product, I might have considered buying another product from them. I am sure that many of you have had similar experiences with other companies, and I would venture to say that if we addressed this area first within our customer service and product warranty departments, we would go a long way in helping our customers, which would translate into profits.
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