Size matters – how customer service unravels

In your small business, who manages customer service?  If you are a small business owner, maybe you do.  It is truly the buck stops with you.  As you grow, how do you continue to manage and have a pulse on customer service?  Many large companies seem to completely lose any sense of how to deliver quality customer service.  They are lousy.  The poster child of lousy service is cable.  Until Verizon Fios came into the area, cable was essentially a monopoly.  So, I stuck it out with Comcast.  This week, they proved again that changing their trucks to deemphasize the Comcast brand and to lead with XFinity does not change the fundamental issues this large corporation has with service.  Paint the trucks with whatever name they like – who cares?

They do not have a handle on serving their customers.  Their services are ‘bundled’ but they can’t service you in a bundled way.  Is that logical?  You have to speak to different technicians when you have an issue even if your issue is with both high-speed internet and TV.  The automated phone system does not allow you to choose both – really?  Does that make sense from a customer point of view?  How hard would it be to tell there is an outage in an area by address/location in this world of GPS and Google Maps?  If multiple people with similar street addresses have called over a short period of time to report problems, shouldn’t Comcast be able to figure that out?  They can’t.

So, what does that mean for SMBs?  Most of us are committed to high quality service and to growth.  How do you scale your business AND keep the sense of focus and commitment on serving your customers?  What is it that makes large companies be so stupid in how they operate?  One aspect is organizational structure works against quality customer service.

When your customer have a question or an issue, are they faced with your organizational hierarchies?  Are they handed off to another person?  Do you make it easy for them to know who to speak to?

We all seek to grow.  Growth is good.  Usually.  Thinking small, maintaining a customer perspective is key.  I don’t miss corporate America at all.  I just wish I had a small local cable company to work with to avoid having to deal with Comcast.  As you grow, don’t lose sight of the customer.




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