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The Bad Economy is Driving Good Customer Service
Jul 7, 2009

I have maintained for months now that the real winner in coming out of this recession, could well be customers and how they will be served in the future.  The postmortem by companies who have lost loyal customers recognize they need to bring them back and Service is key. Here are some signs Service excellence is coming back.  Good behaviors are starting to happen: 
   •Consumers believe they are starting to be served better
   •Call Centers are falling into deep disfavor
   •Consumers actually hate interactive voice recognition programs
   •Companies have made the connection between Loyalty to Service   
   •Companies are starting to “On Shore” Service 
   •Overall satisfaction levels gained 3% over last year* (*University of Michigan American Consumer Satisfaction Index)

To illustrate my belief, I offer the following specific behaviors we are beginning to observe in companies as proof that change could be coming.  It is only a beginning, but hopefully the positive change by these solid companies will serve as new benchmarks for Service Excellence  Those companies that continue not to "get it,"  should be boycotted  and told why.  

  1.  Alaskan Airlines has made notable improvements in courtesy and in knowledge of their staff.
  2.  Starbucks is making changes to the way it grinds and brews coffee to win back customers.
  3. Wegmans said that the tough economic climate brought “one of the highest emotional          connections we’ve ever felt with our customers.”
  4. Gieco instead of focusing on savings for the customer, rather they are elaborating on a 97% satisfaction rating among customers.
  5. “When we ask customers what do they like about WaWa, they say, ‘it’s that our people like each other- and customers get caught up in that experience."
  6. On-Line Grocer FreshDirect says “Our food is Fresh Our Customers are Spoiled."
  7. Zappos redefined on-line service even with a rare interaction with a person.

These are merely small indicators that change can happen.  The consumer needs to come out of this recession much more demanding of where they spend their money.  Their experience needs to improve broadly.  Perhaps a stimulus to recovery will be the behaviors of those serving us thus creating an environment where customers want to shop and buy.  If you're not served well, REBEL;  take your business elsewhere,  you know how to do that.  But when you are served well; stay.  Those renewed relationships will create a wonderful experience for you and hopefully grow stronger.  Removing stress from your life in  transacting and providing  pleasure in this important aspect of your lives.  But you need to demand great service, it should come with the price of the goods free of charge....

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How you do... What you do gives us hope in what is perhaps the most comprehensive book published in awhile on the topic of transforming your culture into one that is renowned for Service Excellence. 

"How You Do What You Do", by Bob Livingston

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