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The State of Customer Service - A View from the Road

When you are out and about or even on vacation, do you observe the customer service you receive? What are your thoughts about the customer you receive every day?

I just spent the last seven weeks traveling in an RV with my wife visiting clients and prospects. Given what we do as a firm, I always pay attention to customer service I receive most anywhere. As we drove through the upper Midwest, I kept my eyes and ears open.  Here are some of my observations:

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The Hanging Customer and Other Lost Opportunities

Have you ever expressed interest in a product online but were never contacted by the company?

I recently visited a website seeking a specialty product for recreational vehicles.  (Since I travel a good deal by RV and am always looking for products that will make traveling easier or better in some way.) The website was very user-friendly, and I easily requested more information. I received an email indicating that all their products were sold through dealers, and a dealer in my area (without the name provided) would contact me soon.

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The Evolution of the Service Experience: Cooperation and its Impact on Customer Expectation

I cannot say if customer service is, in general, improving or getting worse.  The American Customer Satisfaction Index suggests that customer service improved until mid-2014 but has been trending downward since. It is probably growing in some industries and not in others. Personally, I am occasionally impressed with the service, but the service I receive is “adequate.”  I give talks frequently, and I often start the presentation by asking who can recall a positively memorable service experience in the last few months. Typically, I will see a smattering of raised hands.  If asked about unsatisfactory service experiences, the number of hands raised is usually far larger. Is Customer expectation changing or is consistency slipping?

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