Arment Dietrich

Chipping away consumers’ expectations

By: Arment Dietrich | December 6, 2007 | 

According to a new poll, one in four consumers is willing to pay to speak with a customer service person.

Are you kidding me?

I call customer service when I’m having problems with a product. Last time I checked, it’s the company’s responsibility to make sure their products are usable. Not mine. So if I can’t figure out the directions to put together an IKEA console or my new software won’t load properly, I expect the company who developed the product to make it clear.

Ad Age goes on to report that consumers have high expectations. We’ll speak up about poor service or “walk out of a store even if it offered exactly what they were seeking if treated badly.”

Yeah, pretty much. When I buy a product, I’m supporting the paycheck of the person that sold it to me. Why would I fill the wallet of a jerk or support a company that takes its customers for granted? I’d rather go next door, to a company with customer service reps that are…nice. Courteous. Helpful, even.

Companies can use spin to trick consumers on a lot of fronts, but I thought they couldn’t talk consumers into accepting poor treatment. But apparently the spin is working on the 27 percent of consumers willing to pay for service. — Brigitte Lyons

  • Great post, Brigitte. We’ve written about this topic on our blog as well: That the provision of good customer service can be a competitive differentiator in the marketplace is a sad commentary on the state of customer service in general.

  • Linda – Thanks for your comment! I read your post on this issue, and you hit on one of my greatest pet peeves: When you enter every last conceivable piece of data about your life into the automated service only to have the customer service representative ask you to repeat it all. What’s happening to all that info?

  • Most stores will let you bring back an item without a receipt if you have the original packaging. The packaging has a bar code on it specifically for that particular store.