Is Your Customer Service Really That Good?

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?

About Wes Trochlil

For a quarter century, Wes has worked in and with dozens of associations and membership organizations throughout the US, ranging in size from zero staff (all-volunteer) to over 700. In that time Wes has provided a range of consulting services, from general consulting on data management issues to full-scale, association-wide selection and implementation of association management systems.

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