Today, I am finding it very relaxing to write about companies with poor customer service. It is shockingly easy to find more and more, I feel like Ben Popken as we head into the great recession. As companies need to tighten budgets, we should only expect customer service to worsen and customer loyalty to plummet.
I don’t know exactly how the breakdown of layoffs are, but I’m sure there are many blogs (here, here, here and here) tracking layoffs. Sadly, most ‘reductions’ are in the four and five digit numbers; unlike the desensitized volumes of two or three digits.
It’s truly morbid, mainly because most of the job cuts are not executives, middle management or even involve liquidating company assets. (Example: Why is CC1 and CC2 still leased by AOL in Dulles? They can at least monetize the space with condos; instead of having them house stale air and dust at investor’s expense.)
Anyhow, back to my point. Many companies are irresponsibly axing customer service org trees from their company in an effort to collect more revenue in an already-thin economy. These jobs are the very ones that may have attracted consumers to interact with companies in the first place. Without expertise and tenure, comes loss of talent, which results a loss of innovation and creativity.
I still don’t know how Joanna Shields, Bill Wilson and Ron Grant wake up and come to work each morning. It is depressing how empty their buildings are. Even when I roamed the empty halls, it was depressing. Personally, it would be no place that users or advertisers would feel welcome, cherished or even happy visiting.
Don’t have an empty building. Empty buildings mean talent goes to your competitors, along with their motive and inspiration for arriving to work eager to execute on fresh new ideas to demolish your competition. Companies tend to forget that they need to not only attract talent, but they need to retain them, too.
When companies cut customer service and loyalty from their budgets, they are sending a very clear message to their customers: go away. This probably works fine if you’re planning getting a piece of the $700 billion pie that the feds are giving to failed companies.
Whatever. Go ahead, cut customer service from the budget — it’s a cost center, anyhow. Don’t for one moment get upset, fearful, or whine to the board or the investors that the competitor is kicking your ass. Oh, and don’t be surprised when talent walks runs out the door with customer service. There are plenty of companies who will need a talented and motivated workforce.