Good customer service is “one and done”

HBR, What Service Customers Really Want, by Dave Dougherty and Ajay Murthy. Sept 2009

On average, 40% of customers who suffer through bad experiences stop doing business with the offending company.

Recent research demonstrates that when customers contact companies for service, they care most about two things:

(1) Is the frontline employee knowledgeable?

(2) Is the problem resolved on the first call?

Yet those factors often aren’t even on customer-service managers’ dashboards.

Most service centers continue to measure time on hold and minutes per call. Such metrics encourage agents to hurry through calls—resulting in
just the kind of experience customers dislike.

And, these alienated customers often disappear without the slightest warning.


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