Customer service was pretty bad in 2014.
The third quarter American Customer Satisfaction Index dipped to 75.6 percent, it’s lowest level since early 2011.
There were also an assortment of ridiculous service failures. It's hard to believe these things actually happened:
A Comcast rep repeatedly harangued a customer who tried to cancel his service. Executives later blamed the employee when it was really their own policies that caused the problem.
The Union Street Guest House made headlines when they tried to charge wedding party guests a $500 fee for posting negative online reviews.
United Airlines botched an apology letter where they addressed a customer as “Dear Mr. Human.” Sadly, they've done this before.
A Korean Airlines executive berated members of a flight crew, allegedly assaulted the crew chief, and ordered a plane to return to the gate so the crew chief could be removed. It's been dubbed the "Nut Rage Incident" since the whole kerfuffle was over a bag of nuts.
These unbelievable service failures make it pretty easy to forget how challenging things can be for customer service employees.
Customers expect increasingly fast responses to email and other communication. Many employees receive insufficient training and get lost on the learning curve. To make matters worse, many customer service jobs are giving employees ADD.
So, will things get any better in 2015?
Only time will tell. However, there are a few trends that companies should know about.
Join me for a webinar on Wednesday, January 14 at 10 am PST where I’ll reveal:
- The leading cause of service failures.
- A force three times more powerful than customer delight.
- One thing that is most likely to trigger an angry Tweet.
- Why customer service surveys may soon be obsolete.
- The real way to motivate customer service employees.