There seems to be a rising trend not only here in Australia but around many countries mainly within larger organisations. That trend is the rise of “Pseudo Service”.
What is Pseudo Service?
Simply put, it’s the art of getting customers to think that you care about them and you add “service” but in reality, they are getting nothing other than hot air and fake actions.
You may think that this is a big call, or you may disagree, but the reality is we, as consumers, are being treated poorly by many larger organisations and we just put up with it.
So much so that now if you dare speak up about the lack of service, you get branded a whinger when in fact all you are wanting was what you used to get service wise. We now are getting substandard service every day in many areas of our lives, but we say nothing.
It’s just like a pleather jacket. From a distance it looks real but close up you can tell it’s fake and not what you had hoped for.
Recently my wife and I finally got around to going on our honeymoon to Spain and Italy. As we both own numerous businesses and we have 5 daughters between us, dropping everything for a honeymoon was not going to happen.
Our trip was amazing… that was until we landed in Sydney. You see between us checking our bags into our flight in Madrid, and us getting them off the baggage carousel in Sydney, someone decided to pick the locks on the bags and steal a lot of what we purchased during our trip which equated to a lot of money.
As soon as we discovered this at the airport we tried to notify the airline but as it was 11pm their office was shut so we did the next best thing and rung their “customer assistance line”. After getting the run around we were finally given instructions on how to proceed with this issue. This is where the problems start. Either that information was incorrect or any other person we have spoken to doesn’t understand their own procedure.
Nearly four weeks have passed and nothing has happened other than today we were told 2 things:
- As the locks weren’t broken there isn’t anything they are willing to do (which is awesome if you work for this airline now… don’t break the locks and then you won’t be investigated)
- It’s up to the customer service department to decide if they want to respond or not. (so essentially just sit there and wait until we decide if you are important or not)
Now they can have their on-hold messages that state “we really care about our customers”, “your call is important to us” (but then you are left on hold for 75 minutes) and “our customers come first” but all I am hearing is “crap, a customer is complaining… quick hide”.
I am still stupid enough to assume that this airline, which is one of the world’s largest, would actually care about its reputation enough to at least assist its paying customers. Sadly, I was mistaken.
We all are being conditioned to think that these larger companies actually care, but it’s just a marketing ploy. They are banking on the fact that most people either won’t complain or they make it so hard to complain that you just give up. Then in turn they big note about how they get the least amount of complaints when in fact they have just made it impossible to lodge anything.
I realise I am picking on larger companies but sadly it is the case. Small business operators in the main realise that if you dare treat your customer with disrespect or disdain, you will go broke. Larger companies seem to be operating on the burn and churn theory where there will always be another customer coming along so it doesn’t really require much effort to keep current customers happy.
If nothing changes, then nothing changes.
I don’t think the business world has become so busy it cannot offer good old fashion service. I do however feel that for reasons only know to a few, some management are discounting what the customer is actually wanting, hence not even concentrating on real customer service experiences and replacing that with empty marketing statements and mission statements on walls that actually mean diddly squat. That’s what the customer calls “white noise”! It’s all words with little or no action.
Your current and potential customers want to feel appreciated and they want to be acknowledged for being loyal or just even being a customer. It is when customers start feeling like a number, they start looking at taking their business elsewhere. Now in the olden days, companies would be doing anything and everything to retain their customers. Sadly, these days there seems to be a trend by many companies where they are expecting the customer to have to qualify to be their customer.
This isn’t rocket science… it basic business growth stuff. If you look after your customers, they will look after you!
Old school service isn’t dead, it has just been ignored and I think it needs to come back because anyone that spend any money or time in your business needs to be treated extremely well. Otherwise all you are is a great advertisement for your competition.
Make sure you aren’t one of those companies not investing into your staff and into actual customer service training. This needs attention on a regular basis otherwise your customers will disappear.