FINDING 2: Making Customer Service Priority No. 1 Pays Off
Most companies are striving to improve services rather than add services. Our 2006 Customer Strategies Survey found customer service problems worsening. It seems that, thanks in part to the high priority given to customer service and process improvement, there has been real improvement--most notably in billing. The exception is call centers: Although just 19 percent now say they use offshore call center staff, more respondents say there is dissatisfaction with call center reps now than in 2006. But the biggest surprise is how few report that spam or lost data is harming customer relationships despite the publicity about these problems. The survey also found companies that focus on existing customers are more likely to focus on improving services while acquisition-minded companies are more likely to focus on adding services. One beneficiary of these new services is IT professionals; nearly half our respondents are adding IT staff as part of their customer service programs.