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Is Your Customer Service Really That Good?
8 June 2007, by , in Research, 2 comments

A recent survey by Accenture found that the level of customer service that companies think they are providing their customers does not match what their customers believe. (See here for more info.) For example, in the survey, 75% of executives felt their customer service was moderately or extremely good, but 57% of consumers described themselves as upset or marginally to extremely dissatisfied with their experiences. Wow! That's a serious disparity.

The question for you, of course, is how does your perception match with your customers' perception? Most of us probably think we provide pretty good customer service. But do we? Are we asking? Do we have any idea what our customers and members think of our customer service? And frankly, do we really care?

The key distinction between associations and the technology companies surveyed here is that the technology customer can go to another company, but frequently our members cannot. Many associations have golden handcuffs on members (be it through certification or other products that can't be found elsewhere). This doesn't excuse poor customer service, but we're not going to see members vote with their feet. Although they may vote with their pocketbook by buying only the products they need from us (and that they can't get anywhere else).

So while our associations may not overtly suffer from poor customer service, they certainly won't grow as rapidly or successfully as they could with good customer service. But do you even know what they think about you?

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2 Comments on "Is Your Customer Service Really That Good?"

Ben - 8 June 2007 Reply

We ACTUALLY asked our members what they thought of our customer service in our most recent member needs assessment survey. I was really shocked to see our customer service scores as high as they were. 67% gave our customer service an A, and 28% gave us a B. However, in spite of all the shortcomings of benchmarking, I still wonder how we compare to other associations, especially our closest competitors.

Wes Trochlil - 8 June 2007 Reply

Fascinating, Ben. I would submit that if your customer service rating is really 95% at 'B' or higher, then you shouldn't really care how your competitor's are scoring.

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