According to the July issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 64 percent of 1,000 respondents in a recent survey said they left a store in the previous 12 months because service was poor. And 67 percent had hung up during a customer service phone call without having had their problem addressed.
I’ve been trying for more than a year to “unsubscribe” from an email mailing list for a frozen-food manufacturer.
After submitting unsubscribe requests five times with no results, I emailed the corporate headquarters to complain. Two replies assured me I was no longer on the mailing list. Last week, I received another mass email from the company.
Everyone has a story about bad customer service. According to the July issue of Consumer Reports magazine, 64 percent of 1,000 respondents in a recent survey said they left a store in the previous 12 months because service was poor. And 67 percent had hung up during a customer service phone call without having had their problem addressed.
The top consumer complaint: not being able to reach a human on the phone.
Other beefs, from most to least annoying: rude sales people, many phone steps needed, long wait on hold, unhelpful solution, salesperson too pushy, extras being pitched, no apology for unsolved problem, couldn’t find store salesperson, boring hold music or messages, long wait at counter or checkout and long wait for scheduled repair.
Survey respondents said they received the best customer service from brokerage firms, with a rating of 88 out of 100, and the worst service from computer tech support, with a rating of 58. Restaurant chains fared fairly well with a rating of 78.
The survey takers named these chains as providing the best restaurant service: Biaggi’s, Bonefish Grill, First Watch, Houston’s, McCormick & Schmick’s and Capital Grille.
The magazine mentions how U.S. businesses today are more interested in cutting costs than increasing revenue. They shortsightedly fail to realize that good customer service is a profit producer and people bring value into the equation.
Customers are the unfortunate victims of inadequate customer service. But so are service providers — restaurant servers, sales people, customer service representatives, billing clerks and anyone else who deals with the public — who have been given inadequate training or are expected to handle more work than time allows.
Food editor Kathryn Rem can be reached at 217-788-1520 or firstname.lastname@example.org.