Cristina had just visited the local jewelry store, which will be referred to as KJ, to pick up her mother’s diamond encrusted watch after a week of being serviced and repaired. Her mother had been nervous about leaving the watch with anyone because of its monetary and sentimental value – the watch was her mother’s retirement present after 39 years spent working in the service of the government. Cristina was anxious about being given this responsibility, but she trusted KJ because she and her husband had made purchases at their store a few times before, and were appreciated for their business.

Cristina related her experience, “When I went to the store to drop off the watch, a salesperson used a simple device to examine each stone on the watch to ensure that the stones were diamonds, and noted that they were on the work order slip. I left the store with my mind more at ease that I’d made the right choice.” 

She continued, “When the watch came back from the repair shop, before leaving, I requested an assistant to kindly check the stones again in front of me to ensure that they were diamonds like I’d originally given to them. The assistant used the device a few times, but each time, it indicated that the stones were not diamonds. I immediately became alarmed. She concluded that the other assistant must have been wrong in her assessment of the stones. She conferred with a co-worker, who attempted to match the watch purely by appearance to their online catalogue, and insisted that the brand carries watches that are encrusted with crystals only. She stated that this is what I gave to them, so this is what they were returning to me. When I tried to explain that I had brought in diamonds, and pleaded with her to check it again, she, using an elevated tone in the presence of other customers, insisted that she was right, I was mistaken, and the watch never had diamonds on it!” 

Stop for a moment! Now imagine that you are Cristina. 

How would you feel in this situation? How would you feel about having this sensitive issue dealt with in the presence of other customers? 

Cristina reflected, “I felt anxious, angry and embarrassed. Anxious because of the significance of my mother’s jewelry. Anxious because I am not confrontational, and I wanted to flee from the situation, but I knew I had to stay and fight for my rights. Angry because the salesperson was refusing to listen to my viewpoint, and making conclusions based on her own assumptions. Angry and embarrassed because she chose to handle this in public!” 

Ultimately, another salesperson observed the situation after a while, and stepped in. After many attempts, this person finally stumbled on the correct usage of the same device, retested the stones, which were proven to be diamonds once again, but blamed the equipment for all the confusion. No apology was offered to Cristina by either the salesperson or her co-worker. 

How would you feel about the company in which you had placed your trust? How confident would you feel about the level of training this company provides to its staff? Would you return to this company after this experience? Would you recommend the company to your friends? 

Emotions act as a stimulus to actions, including decision-making. A person’s emotions can cause him to act in ways that correspond to the quality of his actual feelings. How a person feels as he leaves your business can determine whether he’ll return or simply move on to your competitors. 

It is worthwhile to note that “86% of consumers quit doing business with a company because of a bad customer experience. 96% of customers that don’t get good service will leave without telling you that they had a problem. A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 5-95%.” 

Cristina said, “This has left a bad feeling in me. I’ve lost my trust in the integrity, reliability, ethics and knowledge of the staff at KJ. The salesperson was discourteous and content to relinquish all responsibility for my jewelry. I will be very hesitant to return to do business here, and to recommend my friends to this company in the future!” 

Being cognizant of how your customers feel during every interaction with them is an imperative first step to providing good customer service. One customer service experience can alter the complete attitude an individual has toward your company. With the burgeoning of social media, the customers that you satisfy or exasperate have the channels available to either bolster loyalty, or create conflicts that can negatively impact your company’s reputation, products, services and finances. 

An American Express Global Customer Service study in May 2011 revealed that, “81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition. 70% of Americans are willing to spend an average of 13% more with companies they believe provide excellent customer service – up from 9% last year. 60% believe businesses have not increased their focus on providing good customer service… up from 55% last year. 78% of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made an intended purchase because of poor customer service.” 

Whether you are a corporation, non-profit organization, small business or government body, what are your customers saying about your service? How many of your customers defected in the last year? If you are not at the top of your customer service game, your competitors may already be benefiting from your disadvantage. Sam Walton said, “There is only one boss – the customer. And they can fire everybody, by spending their money somewhere else.” 

Let our team at PRiyaCOMM help you to protect your reputation, reclaim your customers, and grow your business through transformed customer service! Call us today for a FREE consultation.