Indifference Doesn't Pay

According to the American Society for Quality, 68% of customers who stop buying from a company do so because of employee indifference or the failure of employees to resolve a problem. It's a scary statistic that suggests many companies are missing out on a lot of revenue. Not because they don't have great products, or a killer strategy, or charismatic leaders, but because they don't have a clear and compelling vision for customer service that employees buy into.

Here's an example:

I like shopping at Macy's because they typically have reasonable prices and a good selection of the clothes I like. However, I often find myself wandering around the store trying to find what I came for. Most of the time, their sales people don't greet me when I walk into their department. They're usually too busy chatting with each other or walking in the other direction. The people don't have a customer-focused vision, so they focus on tasks, their co-workers, and themselves.

The last time I visited Macy's, I was surprised to encounter a very helpful sales person. (He must have been new!) He answered my questions and even made a few suggestions, including showing me a sport coat that was on sale for $150. I hadn't planned on buying a sport coat, but the sales person made a great recommendation, so I bought it.

Can you imagine what would happen if all the salespeople at Macy's had a vision to help customers make great purchases? If just 10 people a day spent $150 extra because a sales person spent a few minutes helping them, that one store would bring in more than $500,000 in additional revenue per year. This store has 3 floors and countless departments, so I'm pretty sure adding an additional $1,500 in revenue per day from simply helping people is a conservative estimate.