If your company is considering customer service training, you will want to know the cost. Just for a moment, let’s flip the thinking and consider, what is the cost of not investing in customer service training?
Customer Service Fines
Every year, companies are fined for failing to meet basic customer expectations. A widely publicised case is Vodafone. In 2016, Ofcom fined the mobile company £4.6m for serious and sustained issues relating to poor customer complaint handling. They identified that ‘Pay as you Go’ customers were particularly badly hit. As just one example, around 10,500 top-up payments had not been credited.
You would expect that such a significant fine would provide a strong wake-up call for the company. It suggests it’s time to take stock, revise procedures and invest in robust customer service training. There may have been some improvements, yet Vodafone has a lot of work to do before restoring their reputation. Which? identified Vodafone as the worst mobile phone company in May, for the seventh consecutive year.
Not every company that fails to meet customer expectations will receive such a hefty fine, but a damaged reputation can also be costly to business. If your customer-facing team aren’t up to scratch, there is a good chance that you will lose sales. If the initial service is good, yet returns and complaints aren’t handled effectively, you will miss out on return business.
At this point, it is important to mention the power of peer reviews. When you get customer service right, you will build trust and gain fans of your brand. Those fans will help to spread the word, becoming your marketing ambassadors. The reverse is true when a customer feels you’ve let them down. A one-off mistake may be overlooked, but repeated issues will be openly shared and there is a good chance that it won’t only be that individual that is put off your brand.
Customer Service Training your Team
It doesn’t matter what industry you operate in, or what department you manage, customer service applies to everyone in business. Training your team will require an investment of both time and money, but when you consider what can be gained, it is a small price to pay.
You might already inform your team of what you expect of them and give them processes to follow. That’s a great start. Customer service training will take it a step further, developing necessary skills such as effectively handling upset customers and how to tailor services to meet the needs of vulnerable customers. Such training will provide your team with the tools and confidence to excel.
Worst Companies for Customer Service
Parking Eye was voted the worst company for customer service in the Guardian reader poll 2017. Barclays, Booking.com, Goldcar, Great Western Railways, Virgin Trains and British Airways were amongst the others on this list.
As a judge at the Complaint Handling Awards, I’ve seen good examples of companies that haven’t been performing well, but have taken action and turned things around. In December, it will be good to see which of the Guardian’s 2017 list have stepped up and no longer feature.
If your company thrives on providing customer service excellence, or you are looking for an opportunity to redeem your business reputation, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or 07704 221241.