In yesterday’s blog, I referenced a Wall Street Journal story about hotels cutting back on amenities to save money and the fact that an industry which takes pride in service as a differentiator would risk its customer loyalties by cutting back on those very services that add value. If the past failings, both financial and in customer losses, of the airline industry is indicator, this is a dangerous, downward spiral that is hard to pull out of once it gets started.
I received several comments that responded in very direct agreement to these thoughts. However, one comment took the conversation to another level. The premise of the commentary was the definition of and the level of service in business overall has diminished. I found these comments so compelling and real that I had to share in a separate blog.
The “erosion of service is happening in every aspect of business today. As a consumer, at first I enjoy the so called reduction in price, but once I experience the poor service I feel cheated and used which often leads me to stop using the service or product. If businesses would focus more on quality and customer experience then maybe we can turn around our economy. Unfortunately too many in charge of our corporations today have forgotten what it takes to be successful over the long-term and only care about short term fixes.” Thanks Marshall and right on.
As long as businesses think they can ‘get away’ with the elimination of services or in diminishing their service, they will continue to do so. What they do not realize is that once their customer finds a better offering, be it diminished service at a lower price or better service at the same price or comparable value overall, they are gone. Customers that leave because of the perception of poor value or diminished service rarely return. Are the risks associated with these cost cutting tactics really worth it in the long-term? I doubt it. Protect and promote your service values–it is your one true differentiator.