A recent survey by Polaris Marketing Research has found that one-third of Americans believe that customer service is getting worse across all of their purchases, while forty-four percent believe that customer service is staying the same. While surveys are conducted on a limited number of consumers – in this case 1,000 American consumers during the week of June 20, 2011 – they are indicative of a general trend.
The results of the aforementioned survey showed that perceptions of customer service do not vary based on household income or education. It is vital for retailers to address issues that lead to poor customer satisfaction, to survive a highly competitive industry:
“It is somewhat surprising that, with so many companies struggling for survival, the American consumer is still pessimistic about customer service. Treating customers well is a low-cost option for increasing sales and loyalty,” said Polaris President Jan Carlson in an official press statement.
The problem is that many of those who face the public are not properly trained to treat the customers. It happened to all of us: a tired cashier acting as if you disturbed her lunch break, a waiter failing to notice your empty glass, a post office clerk giving you a nasty look… Of course, customer service is a more complex issue, dealing with refunds, warranties, and other benefits promised by those who sell us a product, or a service.
At times, we get to struggle to receive what’s been promised under the terms of the purchase. And there are many other issues that contribute to poor customer satisfaction.
As customers, we have the right to expect those who make their existence from our financial contributions to treat us right. But customer service is not really a low-cost option for companies. Without proper training, those facing the public cannot really raise up to the task.
The results of the Polaris Marketing Research survey should inspire businesses working with the public to train their employees.