Surprise: IT magazine says customer service quality is down. Really.

This month, CIO Insight magazine (see,1540,2062373,00.asp ) noted that despite all the investment in technology that companies are making, customer service is getting worse.

Did any of you have to read a magazine to figure that out?

The good thing about articles like this is that they have metrics to go with the reality. The CIO site makes me crazy with 99% ads, 1% content, but the content is good, so deal with it just this once, ok?

So lets talk about the issues they cover in the article.
The #1 answer was billing or account problems, chosen by 53% of the people surveyed.

Big surprise. So far this month, Iâ??ve spent 2+ hrs trying to reach a human at Bank of America since they bought out MBNA. No luck. â??Weâ??re currently experiencing high call volumesâ?. Really?
Speaking of, I had to call Paypal about a debit card (I use Paypal for one of my online stores, so a debit card to pay for shipping when I have to use USPS makes sense). Because of a stupid restriction on businesses that use PO Boxes as a billing address, I had to call them. Paypalâ??s phone system (voice based response) is annoying because the guy talks SO SLOW you could read this blog while waiting for him to finish. However you can get to a helpful, friendly human by just saying â??HELPâ? when you are in their phone tree. That one issue aside, Paypalâ??s customer service has improved drastically. Every call Ive placed in the last year has been quick, friendly, successful, accurate. Good for you, guys.

Guess what #2 is? Getting to a real person to discuss a problem. How ironic. B of A, read up.
#3 was customer service email delays.

#4 was product or service quality. Not surprisingly, #4 was the ONLY choice that improved from 2005 to 2006. Pathetic.

Just like Ive been telling you in my print newsletter, great service differentiates you from the losers. I shouldnt even have to say it, but SO MANY try to scrimp on this – yet its the one place where you can cream your competition if you really seriously address it.

Its one more slight edge. So get off your keester & make your service amazing. A lady counted change back to me at Walgreens a while back. I was blown away because NO ONE does that anymore. Geez, is that all it takes to stand out today?

By the way, I’m not saying to avoid replacing web customer service with the real person. Instead, have them compliment each other.
Take action quickly. Implement TODAY.