Friday, December 12, 2008

Managing customer expectations in a downturn

If you're in the business of serving customers, you can see the story unfolding before you.
  • The economic crunch is here
  • Company revenues decline
  • You get told to reduce service levels
  • You reduce staff and/or cut the hours of cover
  • There's a dilution in the customer experience
  • This causes an erosion in customer loyalty
So tricky days ahead then as we welcome the ever-decreasing cycle of recession-based customer services.

But this need-not be the outcome, as a recent McKinsey article highlights. This report covers the possibility of finding your customer 'Break Points' and carefully tracking this to avoid a complete drop in customer satisfaction.

One alternative to this is managing your customers down to lower cost-to-serve channels such as online, without a drop in quality of service. As I mentioned in a previous post, this can also be difficulty to pull-off correctly, but then this is a recesssion... and you don't just judge the person during the good times do you?
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