Don’t play the blame game

Many companies don’t place the value they should on CS. They may say they do but you’ll never know until you need it. By now you probably guessed CS stands for tear gas. Just trying to show off my vast array of knowledge or the speed of a Google search. If you guessed Customer Service you win.

Let me give you an example. About five years ago I needed a new lawn tractor for my favorite outdoor activity: cutting grass. Not. Being an astute customer I did my homework. There where a lot of good lawn tractors out in the market, but some of the prices were higher than a good used car.

I finally decided on a Simplicity Lancer Lawn Tractor. Besides priced right, it had a cool name. The word lancer reminds me of Monty Pythons Holy Grail. Watch me speed around my lawn looking like one of the Knights who say…


I had a lot of small problems with it over the years but figured it was normal wear and tear. However, in June my steering went kaput. It’s really hard to cut an acre of grass when you are unable to provide direction.

Well, it turns out the parts are on back order and have been since June. Living in Illinois we have this phenomenon between weeds and grass in a race to grow the fastest and tallest. If I owned a lawn tractor company I would make sure there were plenty of parts on hand for their dealer system from spring through fall.

I sent an email to their customer support center in Milwaukee, which is in the same growing region as I. To my amazement, they were a bit crass in their response blaming it on a parts supplier. At this rate, the part should arrive in time for a New Years celebration, but I am still unsure of the year.

Talking to business owners, I find most companies understand the value of customer service and do a fairly good job at it. However, it only takes one comment or action from a company employee that can make a company president pull out his or her hair. It takes years to build up a product or service and you may be just a few seconds away from starting over.

To avoid these situations, no matter how minor they may seem, you need to consistently audit your employees who interact with customers and prospects. With the emergence of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, where customers and prospects can talk about their experience with companies they do business with, the words fly faster and farther.

Great customer service bring tears to my eyes.

Enjoy your day

Marketing Doc

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