False Sense of Security=Service Decline

I bought my daughter a Big Wheel the other day at Wal-Mart. We brought it home, it didn’t work, and so I made the trip to exchange it. Because I was exchanging it, I didn’t think I needed my receipt. As I waited in line at the customer service counter, I overheard the customer service manager talking to three customer service desk employees about customers. He said, “It is amazing what people try to get away with—bringing things back without receipts. Take a look around, people, this store is packed; there are more people in the store now than there have ever been. We don’t need to honor these returns.” Then, it was my turn in line. Great timing, right? I just laughed and shook my head (but I did get the Big Wheel exchanged).

This attitude—born of a false sense of security brought about by the slight economic upswing—is dangerous. And I see it everywhere. Even as Optimal Networks begins to sense an economic recovery and signs new clients, I see this false sense of security spreading. We are so enamored with—and eager to please—our new clients that we are slacking a bit on providing our usual premium service to long-standing clients.

Nothing is more upsetting to me. Throughout the recession (which we are still in, despite the media reports), service providers were focused on client retention—on providing the best service possible to the clients that stayed with the organization even as budgets were cut. Now, it seems organizations have let their service slip and have forgotten that client retention is as important as it ever was. This is dangerous, people, so be aware. A false sense of security leads to a service decline which can lead to bad, bad things. Feeling “safe” is a recipe for downfall in this economic climate.

I want to hear from you! Respond to one, all, or none of the questions below. I just want to hear your thoughts! And, if you post a response, be sure to check back for a reply!

  • Do you agree? Do you think it is too soon to feel safe in this economy?
  • Do you have an example of an organization that has let their service slide because they feel secure in the slight economic upswing?
  • Have you had an experience with a service provider that has recognized the danger of this false sense of security and taken measures to provide long-term clients/customers with premium service?