If the "customer is always right," the next question is, "Why do so many customers stop doing business with companies?" The answer is, "bad service." Customers refuse to buy from companies that render unsatisfactory service and ignore their complaints. Sadly, managers usually sound the alarm and demand new customer service initiatives only after the customers have fled. Author Jeanne Bliss, a veteran chief customer service officer, tries to explain the problem and to suggest ways to correct it. She offers so many detailed trees – in the form of questionnaires, bullet points, details and checklists – that you risk losing sight of the practical forest: the motives and methods for implementing better customer service. There is valuable information here, even if it is a bit shaded. For this reason, getAbstract particularly liked her clear, helpful and revealing chapter of first-hand stories from the field of customer service.


Seeing the Customers' Perspective

"Chief customer officers" (CCOs) have a tough job. They advocate for customers and argue with management about changing policies or practices, even though that might affect the revenue stream. This is an uphill climb because it is hard to convince managers to prioritize customers, even though they are the source of revenue, past, present and future. To make changes in favor of customers, managers must see the situation from the customers' perspective. But that is easier said than done.

Corporations assume that customers evaluate their experiences based on a relationship with a single department, but customers usually evaluate an entire company, not just one "silo" or unit. When you transfer customers among silos in search of answers, they experience your company’s weaker operations first hand. From the company’s perspective, this is an unplanned event, and it is up to the customer to decide to stay or leave. Usually a customer who has a bad experience leaves. Studies say that two-thirds of the people who stop doing business with companies blame bad service. In fact, the average corporation in the United States loses half of its customers...

About the Author

Jeanne Bliss has spent 25 years managing customer focus and profitability for major corporations, and was a general manager of worldwide customer and partner loyalty for a leading software company.

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