Chapter 2. The State of Service

Is your company part of the customer service crisis or customer service revolution?

There's only one boss, the customer, and he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.[36]

Sam Walton

The Customer Service Crisis

The CEO of a large company, where I had been consulting for a while, told me, "John, you will never starve. You will always be busy with customer service consulting." I was obviously elated, thinking he was happy with my services. Just as I was about to thank him, he continued, "because customer service is just so bad in America today." Well, that was a let-down. But then I saw the bright side. If there is indeed a service crisis, I am confident I have the cure, and I am prepared to change the situation one company at a time.

During the past five years, we have seen more than enough corporate cost-cutting, stock market blues, layoffs, and outsourcing of services to the lowest bidder. As a result, customer service is at such an all-time low that if customer service is not horrible, consumers are relieved!

How bad is customer service today? Well consider this, in December of 2007, the airline industry was fighting a proposed "Flier Bill of Rights," which would punish airlines for stranding passengers on planes without adequate food, water, or sanitation. How unreasonable is that? To expect not to be stuck on a runway for more than three hours, without food, water, and proper waste removal. ...

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