Want to Buck the Economic Downturn?, Simple; Offer Good Customer Service.

It’s now widely accepted that the economy is undergoing a serious contraction, and so consumers are about to far more picky about what they buy and who they buy it from, so if you’re running a business and you don’t believe the customer is king then you’re most likely to end up seeing your business shrink faster than the economy as a whole.

I’ve had numerous experiences over the past few months of companies that seem to think they’re doing the customer a favour by taking their money and providing a service, which is a very dangerous thing to do. Some examples of companies with serious customer service problems are;

  • Crest Nicholson, who built the house I live in, and over a month after the “Completion of construction” certificate was issued I still am waiting for a part of my lounge to be plastered, the front and rear doors to be replaced due to problems, and I have two 20+ page reports from my surveyor indicating that the workmanship is little better than you would get from a DIY enthusiast.

  • BT who stated they would provide me with a working land line on the 11th of March, then didn’t and I had to call them to find out why, then said it would be done on the 20th of March, and again didn’t and I had to call them, and now say that it should be done by the 15th of April.

  • Orange who wouldn’t provide a 15 pounds a month ‘phone service despite being given the offer of me paying several months in advance, and instead wanted me to use a pay as you go tariff which would make them more money.

  • DFS who stated approximately 6 weeks delivery for two items, then rejected both of them from their supplier twice even though one of the two items was fine, and then, after 9 weeks, said that the order couldn’t be cancelled (fortunately the manager of the shop seemed to be aware that under UK law you can cancel an order if it’s not delivered on time).

As a result of this I will never buy a new home again (and probably never but a Crest Nicholson home unless it’s 20 years old and someone else has fixed the problems), I’m with O2 as a phone service, and DFS have had my order cancelled and I won’t buy from them again. I’m also letting anyone who asks know about the joys I’ve had with these companies, so it’s not just my custom they’re losing, they’re are now other people who won’t buy from them because they don’t want to go through the hassles I’ve had.

So remember, even if you don’t like it, the customer is king, and when the economy takes a downturn if you don’t at least make them feel respected then get ready to see your business start to fade away.