Customer Service “Hall of Shame” a Lesson in Management

Hallofshame2009 No less than three alert readers forwarded me MSN Money's 2009 Hall of Shame. So, I'd better pass it along! Nine of the ten "winners" are repeat offenders. Some might argue that turning things around for some of these corporations is like making a u-turn in an aircraft carrier. Nevertheless, many companies and industries have taken the recession as an opportunity to improve customer service and win market share, and clear improvements have been noted by consumers in certain sectors. In seems, therefore, that annual designation on the Hall of Shame points to a lack of true commitment from the executive and management teams of these companies to make the changes necessary.

The Hall of Shame is a great reminder of the oft forgotten edge on the double edged Customer Service sword. What Customer Service Reps (CSRs) say and how they say it is only part of solution. Positive change in customer service requires an executive management team that is committed to correcting the failed policies and procedures that CSRs are forced to manage and support on the front lines.

  3 comments for “Customer Service “Hall of Shame” a Lesson in Management

  1. June 13, 2009 at 12:21 am

    Interesting to see HSBC on the list. In the UK they have a subsidiary called First Direct, a telephone and internet based bank that has over the years provided excellent levels of customer service. It normally comes near the top of the Institute of Customer Service surveys. I have been a customer since 1993 and cannot fault the orgnisation.
    HSBC has been running a big TV advertising campaign saying how much they learn from operating in other countries. Currently thee advert shows a man fishing in china with a rod and line, where the locals were using a Pelican or Cormorant.
    Looking at this list, it looks like HSBC have not been trying to learn too hard from other countries. If they had then they would have improved their service levels by now.

  2. June 13, 2009 at 3:03 pm

    I am not surprised to see Comcast on this list. Our call center is just down the orad from one of theirs, and Comcast’s customer service is the laughingstock of the town. Because we’re both call centers, and we’re in the same town, we swap quite a few CCRs back and forth. The ones who have left our company for theirs have eventually found their way back to us.
    It is darn near impossible to get a callback from a supervisor. I have heard the CSRs do not even give a supervisor messages from customers. If they did, they would have to maintain a separate department just for customer complaints.
    We have their service here at home, and it’s done well for us. But we dread ever having to contact Customer Disservice with a real complaint.
    I’ll step down from the soapbox now. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. June 13, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I meant “just down the road.” I had a small child in here asking where we were going. ๐Ÿ™‚

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