My example comes from a run in with my energy supplier about the billing for a property I had moved out from months prior. Honestly, you couldn’t make up how poorly my issue was handled – the basic tenets of customer service were completely lacking. At no point did they do what they said they were going to do, and eventually I found out that they hadn’t ever even logged any of my multiple calls as a complaint! 

After about two months, I finally managed to talk to a senior manager to explain the issue. I was impressed with this manager’s response, who quickly came across as a consummate professional. His efforts alone were the only reason why I decided not to close my account and move to a different supplier.

The reason I am telling you this is to highlight just how important it is to be able to defuse a situation where a customer has a complaint. If you do it in the correct way, then you can ensure their continued business.

Being on top of your customer service is increasingly important in the digital world where bad feedback travels fast can deal your business’ reputation a heavy blow. So, unless you’re able to survive solely through word-of-mouth business, any future opportunities to grow your company could be limited thanks to a negative review on a platform like Google or TrustPilot.

On p50 of this issue, Adam Bernstein writes about why providing good service to customers is an essential part of running a successful business. An interesting tidbit from the piece states that the Institute for Customer Service, in its Customer Service Dividend Report, found that average EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) was 24.7% for organisations with higher than sector average customer satisfaction for their sector, versus 14.5% for those with lower than sector average customer satisfaction. 

With those sorts of earnings in reach, you need to ask yourself: can your business afford not to have spot-on customer service?