Feature: Customer Service. What’s that then?
Good customer service is vital to the success if any organization. And it often differentiates a company from its competitors.
A company with good customer service will almost certainly get repeat business so it will benefit with greater sales and profits. But a company with poor customer service will usually lose customers, which means a loss of sales and profits.
According to research, when a customer is dissa-tisfied with the treatment he’s received from a company, he’ll tell about 25 people. Those people in turn are likely to mention it some time or other in the future. So, the bad news spreads.
Take Globe Telecoms for example. Their people in Bacolod are terrific and couldn’t be more helpful. But, I found it a different story when dealing with their head office in Manila.
And say what you like about the Philippine Postal Service, but I have nothing but praise for them. I have always found them helpful and efficient. And in 11 years I’ve only lost one package.
An example of outstan-ding customer service was my experience with Wed-gwood, the British china tableware company. Years ago I bought a Wedgwood china clock in Singapore. The actual clock was brass. I put it in storage and decided to use it last year. When I unpacked it the brass was badly tarnished.
I photographed it and emailed the picture to Wedgwood in the UK and explained the problem. By return, I received a polite and apologetic reply and in five days, a new brass clock movement arrived and it was free of charge. That’s terrific service.
Other companies I’ve had good experiences with include Philippine Airlines, Ibis Hotels in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific and Hertz car rentals.
On the other hand, I’d had dismal dealings with Cebu Pacific (who hasn’t?), Sheaffer pens and Tipco, the Thailand-based juice company.
By and large, I find Bacolod companies practice good customer relations, but usually only if you deal with the boss. It seems that few employees are given the authority to act on their own which is a pity.
Company bosses should remember that good customer service is much cheaper and far more effective then getting new customers through expensive marketing programs. And happy customers invariably will recommend a business to others.
Word of mouth is a very cost-effective marketing tool, but can also be the most detrimental if you are not looking after your customers.*