If every company wants to delight its customers, then how come we don't spend most of our ‘customer days’ delighted?
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES?
The so-called new economy and most new business have been built around a specific promise. This promise is that the 'customer is in charge’. The reality is that customer service has reached the pits. Call centres in the depths of the countryside leave us hanging on while we listen to more piped music.
As customers we feel betrayed. It seems remarkable that an entire business philosophy, a mantra chanted across the modern world is so obviously without substance. Many banks, universities, shops, restaurants, builders' merchants, and software companies patently fail to deliver. The customer is not king. The customer is left waiting to be heard (again!).
To reflect on what has happened, one of the promises of the new economy evangelists was that the customer would finally be in charge. We weren't supposed to need to call the customer care department because everything would be right first time!
The reality is somewhat different. How often does the call centre tell you 'We are experiencing higher than usual call volumes' or 'all our customer service operatives are currently busy' or ‘you are in a queue’? This first statement is almost always followed by the second (incongruous) comment, 'We value you your call'.
Basically, the new economy was meant to make service better, quicker and more effective for customers. At the same time it was meant to make it easier and cheaper for the companies. So much for the theory.
Companies are starting to wake up to the fact that the customer is actually very angry with them. Customer service ratings are a nonsense - the average score is always 'above average'.
Most customers do not feel 'in charge'. So, see what happens if you do put them in charge…
Customer Is King - the book