Forbes released an article based on a survey by New Voice media. It stated that companies are losing billions due to poor customer service.
If you read the survey, it becomes quickly clear that businesses are focussing on the wrong things. In many instances have I visited companies where the interior is like Buckingham palace; The coffee is served in porcelain previously owned by heads of state or the toilets are sprayed with Chanel perfume.
What board of directors quickly have to realise is that all these things do nothing for the customer. This is what we call features. They are fairly easy to implement: you need money. There is no real art to it.
Don't get me wrong, the nice surroundings of a hotel or a law firm will add to it's reputation and the perception the customer has about it. Even more, some of these venues are places to be preserved. Historical buildings with a great history now serving other purposes.
Time spent wrong
I have personally overseen big projects such as the opening of a hotel and even a 7 floor casino. The years and months leading up to the opening day is filled with plans, meetings and budgets. Things such as the size of elevators and electrical installations are often discussed for hours on end.
What I realised was that staff was rarely talked about and yet, these are the people who are about to interact with the guest or customer.
In one kitchen they installed a very special oven. It could heat up really fast and go to high temperatures for certain special dishes. The cost was close to € 90,000.
Do you know how much was spent on training the 325 staff members in this 45 million project? Not even 10,000 !! The staff who was to welcome people at the door or on the phone were not considered import enough to be trained.
That is the reason why companies don't invest in customer service training, they don't see it as something tangible. They don't get a product in return. There is no packaging, no nice wrapping.
CFO: "what if we train the staff and they leave ?