Everyone is trying to keep hold of their customers for as long as they possibly can, especially now. Last month I moderated a panel on nurturing customer loyalty at the Small Business Summit, and also did a guest post on the 1to1 blog - So YOU Want to Improve MY Customer Experience.
In fact I praise Borders in that blog post for improving my experience with them, but then I had to turn around slap them on the latest episode of the CRM Playaz when they took away the very thing I praised them for. And Paul Greenberg talks about the negative experience he recently had with United Airlines, the airline he has loyally been flying for years.
So this is not the time to start messing around with customer service and expectations, In the immortal words of Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - "Don't push me cuz I'm close to the edge, I'm trying not to lose my head...". There are too many ways for us as customers to show our discontent that go way beyond just not spending our hard-earned dollars. And nothing irritates us more than feeling like we're being taken advantage of by vendors, and especially by vendors who don't listen to us. Some don't even bother returning a good number of the 64 billion service calls we make.
Emily Yellin, a journalist who frequently writes for The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek and other publications, knows all about our frustrations having written the new book Your Call Is (Not That) Important To Us. Emily and I recently had a fun conversation for TFBS about the book. She shares some of her personal experiences with bad customer service, and insights she gained from conversations with folks like Fedex CEO Fred Smith and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. She also talks about the Customer Rage study, and the things that surprised her as she traveled throughout the world visiting call centers in places like Egypt and Argentina.
I'm still reading the book, but I've enjoyed what I've read so far. And I can tell Emily enjoyed writing it, because it comes across on the pages. She has fun with it, but still uncovers some really interesting things that give you insight into how companies really view customer service, from all levels in the organization - including the C-level of Fortune 500 companies. You can check out our conversation by clicking the player below, or by clicking on this link to download the mp3 file.
Let me say a special thanks to Emily for including a quote from one of my blog posts in her book. I would tell you what it is, but it would be better if you bought the book and found it for yourself!