Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Importance of Customer Service

Now, the last thing I want to do is get up on a soap-box . . . but why is it that some companies just don't get how important it is to provide excellent customer service? With all of the data out there that has proven that it is much more cost effective to keep your existing customers than to acquire new ones, you'd think that all companies would focus on the customer relationship. Apparently, not so much.

An example of this is this post that I found regarding Time Warner Cable's (TWC) recent stock-price woes. In the article entitled Time Warner Cable, New Customers, Same Crappy Service, Tom Barlow talks about TWC's recent opportunity to reverse their reputation for poor customer service. After it separated from Comcast and acquired Adelphia, TWC had a golden opportunity to start fresh with 3.5 million customers. Unfortunately, the fresh start didn't happen. Instead,TWC has already lost 90,000 customers due to somehow not anticipating the overload of these happy, fresh customers to their network. Thus, many customers experienced problems with their TV, internet and telephone connections. They decided to vote with their dollars and go find a provider that worked better.

We each have an opportunity to create customer satisfaction every day -- no matter what our roles are in our companies. In essence, it really doesn't matter what else we do -- because without satisfied customers, well, there are eventually no customers.

In fact, we recently dedicated one of our newsletters specifically to this topic because it is so near and dear to our hearts. It was entitled, Knock your Socks Off Customer Service and one of the most widely commented on of all of our monthly newsletters. Yes, I think we all are on the lookout for good customer service each and every day. OK -- I'll get off that soap-box now.

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