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| Education and Financial

03/04/14

Customer disservice: Do poor consumer ratings really matter?

The American Customer Satisfaction Index delivered good news for the majority of retailers, suggesting that customer service as a whole is trending in the right direction.
But the findings by the ACSI wasn't all glowing reviews for some, as the organization that monitors how well retailers are doing when it comes to customer perception ranked 10 companies that are failing in this category.
After perusing the list and soaking up these so called customer satisfaction failures, one question keeps coming to the forefront: Does customer service matter that much?
Take a peak at some of the heavy hitters on the list, and their revenue ranking as far as retailers are concerned. Most of the companies on that list rank in the top 15 as far as how much money they're making, so they must be doing something right.
That's not to suggest that customer approval is a moot point, or that these particular retailers that didn't score well aren't working toward making the experience of consumers better. It just means that customer satisfaction might be more of a subjective topic and doesn't translate to the revenue sheet by some of the more renowned retailers.

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At least not right away.
Customer service can be viewed in the eyes of a successful retailer in two ways: forgettable or an integral part of the business that needs turned around. Those who choose the former might not feel the affect of poor customer service for years, if ever. That's why they may decide to just accept their customer service status quo and move on. If there's not seeing a major change in their bottom line, those companies may opt to turn their attention to another facet of the business.
It's the organizations that recognize their customer service shortcomings and woes and make the conscious effort to change for the better, even if from a revenue standpoint things seem perfectly fine. Taking that proactive approach, at least initially, could conceivably change the perception some consumers have of the retailer. In addition, those companies could tout having the best of both worlds in the retail business: plenty of prolonged profit and a customer base that is finally content with how they're being treated.
Customer service often is an immeasurable for the most part, until surveys like this one finally come to fruition. Having poor customer service often doesn't register with a company right away when it comes to the amount of money they make, thus making it an easy aspect of business to put on the back burner.
Those retail entities that use poor customer service as a reason to light a fire under them to usher in changes are the ones least likely to be burned in the long run.

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