Is poor customer service killing your business?

A certain bank (which shall remain nameless because this isn’t just about the bank) has kept me waiting on an E-statement for the past three weeks.

I sent the request via email two weeks before Christmas and they responded by sending me a “Request for Statement” form to fill.

I filled it out diligently and since then, I have been sitting on my thumbs. Waiting, breathing fury, hoping and finally giving up.

An E-statement is a basic service which in most countries is sent to customers on monthly basis without any charges.

It’s the slow response, the unhelpfulness and indifference with which the matter is being handled (or not) that really irks me and has pushed me to look into opening an account in another bank.

Upon ranting to a friend, she quickly suggested that I join her bank because higher charges notwithstanding, the customer experience is exceptional.

And this is something that some business owners do not seem to understand; the fact that customers pay for experience nearly as much as, and sometimes more than they will pay for the service.

One of the first things that I do and that many people I know do before buying a product or sourcing a service from a company is to go to the company’s social media account.

I look at their user rating and go through comments about the products they are advertising to see the way they respond to people’s inquiries or complaints.

One time I saw an advert from a natural hair product company and was intrigued.

So I went to their Facebook page to find out user experience and lo and behold the first of many bad ratings was from someone who was saying that when she went to the company outlet to make an inquiry, the front desk officer was impolite.

Instead of apologizing, the person handling the social media page went into self-defense mode and started a war of words. Other customers came forward and relayed their own experiences-which were unsurprisingly bad but the company’s social media handler would not relent.

That was enough to stop me from buying their products because it didn’t matter to me that their products were good. I don’t need that kind of drama in my life. I guess other people made the same decision because the company’s time in the sun was shorter and less memorable than a wave.

For any customer, there is nothing more off-putting than being treated with contempt when you are paying your hard earned money. You walk into a restaurant and the waitress drags her feet to your table and then stares you down while waiting for you to “bother her” with your order.

I guarantee that with that kind of customer service even if you are a monopoly, it will be hard for your business to grow and you are at a high risk of dying out.

There is a saying: “A happy customer tells a friend; an unhappy customer tells the world.”