The Costs of Poor Customer Service

Posted on January 8, 2014 by


There are so many costs of poor customer service and yet, it appears, that many organizations ignore these costs.  How many times have you suffered a poor customer service experience simply because the employee you were dealing with wasn’t empowered to make your service better?  Did you choose to take your business elsewhere as a result?  Did you decide not to give them future business?

I recently had an experience with a very nice/professional customer service representative from PNC Bank, but overall was still frustrated by the interaction because she wasn’t empowered to do anything to resolve my issue.  The end result will be that after nearly 20 years of having the same bank account, PNC will lose my business.  They closed a rewards program and converted 22k points, that I had earned, into nothing.  They were unwilling to do anything about it, which was absurd and not only will they lose my business, but my family’s business as well.

As a person who focuses on customer service daily, I appreciate great customer service and I can also tell when there are great customer service people stuck in organizations that do not make customer service a part of their culture.  This was definitely the scenario outlined in the post, “The oh-so-many costs of poor customer service.”  

The author found herself in a car rental office in a frustrating scenario.  The company touted high customer service on the wall, but didn’t empower their employees enough to get their jobs done.  We have all encountered this at some point and it is not only frustrating, but it is costly for the company.   I agree with Zeynep Ton, a HBR writer referenced in the same post, that “The assumption that customers don’t notice or care about lousy service is a bad one.”  We notice and, hopefully, we show that we notice with a reallocation of our spend with an organization.  

The focus on #SMChat at 1pm ET on January 8, 2014 is minimizing the costs of poor customer service by empowering employees,  creating an internal mindset of  customer service and identifying changes to be made to generate better customer service.

Q1. What are the tangible and intangible costs of poor customer service?

Q2. What internal changes are critical to a positive shift in customer service?

Q3. What, as a customer, stands out to you about exceptional customer service?

Q4. How should customer service representatives be empowered?

Q5. When you have a poor customer service experience, how do you seek to resolve your issue?


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