So, that’s why customer service is so bogus across-the-board

Nearly two-thirds of some 300 global executives surveyed said they don’t deserve their customers’ loyalty. More than half say their company doesn’t deliver unique and beneficial products or services, and eight out of 10 admitted they had no idea how much a customer complaint cost in terms of shattered loyalty and lost business. Ouch! Talk about hands-off management.

The eye-opening survey, conducted by Strativity Group, Inc., should be a true wake-up call to management teams and boards of directors everywhere. According to Strativity, the results show a shocking lack of investment by the surveyed companies in the training and technology necessary to satisfy, if not delight, customers. Heck, these executives aren’t even going through the motions!

What shocks me (besides the obvious) is the admission by executives that they do little, if anything, to differentiate their company’s or product’s ‘value prop’ or points of differentation. So, if they aren’t delivering a solid product and not differentiating themselves from competitors, are these executives not punching their own one-way ticket to Palookaville?

Maybe. Maybe not. Could the findings, instead, be shedding light onto one of the reasons why there’s been so much turmoil at the CEO level? Are the top kicks so obsessed with their own pay packages and delivering an overnight result to the Street that they’re neglecting the basic blocking-and-tackling needed to engage in, and nurture, a long-term customer relationship? Are the results merely reflecting a ‘take-the-money-and-run’ mentality on the part of some corner office occupants?

The survey also underscores a reality of public relations: no matter how good the product or service is, PR cannot overcome shoddy service or a lack of focus on customer satisfaction by the client organization.

I really hope Strativity Group continues to undertake surveys like this in the future. In fact, I’d love to see them slice-and-dice the results by company size, industry, job title, geography, etc. It would be a huge help to further analyzing what all this means. Hey, does that mean I’m not satisfied with their customer service?

Thanks to Greg Schmalz for point out this survey to me.

9 thoughts on “So, that’s why customer service is so bogus across-the-board

  1. Sticks and stones, med supply guy. Sticks and stones. Things must be mighty quiet on the surgical glove front.

  2. raindog-
    i try to get people to ed’s blog but it’s not easy. see, his blogs are generally insightful, so there is no drama over there. here, its almost like a comedy reading the ridiculous posts. sometimes i wonder if repman writes a post just for the comments and action.

  3. Isaac,
    Why don’t you go bother Ed for a while? His site could sure use the traffic. You could even throw him a few story ideas while you’re over there.

  4. lunch boy, still waiting for your address down south to send you some cheddar to help with the bills….

  5. i disagree repman. if you are saying that pr is only for strong companies, then the need for pr firms is about as important as the need for iran to continue its nucleur work. solid companies generate their own pr and buzz and with a decent in-house pr person, outside counsel is simply not needed.
    if a company is doing the right thing, has an important product or service, and differentiates itself, the media will know how to find them. as you like to point out, the advent of this thing called the internet has essentially allowed anyone to broadcast any message to the world. and if the message is good, the media will pick up on it.
    by the way, still waiting for your counsel to jetblue…

  6. I know pharmaceutical companies use PR. I’m sure the successful medical supply firms use it, too, MSE. Why not preach your ridiculous sermons to these folks? I mean you already signed a 7-figure deal this week, right? So, you must know something about the industry you work in. As for the industry you left – I am hardly convinced you know anything about it.
    Take care.

  7. The PR world is very fortunate to have you selling medical supplies, I-man. PR cannot fix a broken product or service. But, it can sure make good companies even better. So, the question about why good companies need PR is actually an irrelevant one. PR helps create awareness and, more importantly, credibility. And, the latter is a decisive factor in purchase behavior (even in medical supplies one would guess). So, strip away PR from any good company and said company is going into battle with one arm figuratively tied behind its back.

  8. interesting post about a most interesting survey. but here is what got me in your post:
    “The survey also underscores a reality of public relations: no matter how good the product or service is, PR cannot overcome shoddy service or a lack of focus on customer satisfaction by the client organization.”
    so what you are saying repman, is that pr doesn’t really make sense for a strong majority of these 300 global companies that were surveyed, correct? b/c if pr won’t matter, then why spend the money?
    lets take that one step further. how about the companies that do focust on customers, and quality products/services and who differentiate themselves. do they need pr? based on what you said, i would argue no, b/c their business should be in good enough shape not to have the spend the money on pr.
    so that begs the question of who pr actually works for?
    ps- still waiting for some specifics on how you would have handled the jet blue crisis.