Oops....They Flushed How Much $$$ Down the Toilet?

Do you know what your customer service is like? Are you sure you REALLY know? Because if you don't it could be costing you customers...just like flushing money down the toilet. Try it, take a $20 bill...or if you are adventurous a $100 bill. Now go and flush it down the toilet, maybe flush a few more to signify all the lost future sales. The problem is you don't get to see how your employees are dealing with your most valuable asset - your customers. Go online, google any company (maybe your own) and take a look at what people are posting.  For every one ticked-off customer, he/she tells 50 friends, but the satisfied customer tells 3 people. Horrible odds right?

Unfortunately it happens all the time. Customers are frustrated by the service they receive and have no recourse to solve the problem. Take for instance my experience with a certain satellite TV company. I simply wanted them to ship me a new receiver, one of mine died. I knew that is what they needed to do, I had already went through the troubleshooting once. So what do you think happened?

After what should have been a five minute phone call, 45 minutes later I have a new receiver on the way, but not before I had to threaten to change service (and almost did) hung up on one representative and had to be transferred away from another. I was told everything from I cannot wait on hold for you to check your receiver to I can't ship you a new one, and finally to go to Best Buy to buy a new one. WHAT? Why is this guy sending me to Best Buy.

In the end, the "supervisor" tells me the entire conversation I had with the second person was wrong and he gave me entirely incorrect information. WHY? I kept asking her why, who was the person, could they be reprimanded, given the correct information? The kicker...SHE HAD NO IDEA WHO I SPOKE TO.

What if that happened to one of your customers? You work to hard and spend too much money to recruit your customers...why would you let an mis-informed employee (who probably could care less about the company) ruin your reputation with the customer?

I challenge all of you to have someone "mystery shop" your business. See how they are treated from the moment they walk in, to the moment they leave. Also, send out feedback forms to current customers, pick up the phone and call clients. Do not be afraid to check in with your clients to make sure your staff is fulfilling their needs. The last thing you want is your customers to go to the competition....you might as well just take the marketing money and flush it down the toilet. At least that way your reputation will not be ruined.

What are some of your horrible customer service stories?