Customer Service: Are You Paying Your Reps what they Deserve?
|THE PROBLEM: Most companies still do not provide good quality customer service.|
|THE SOLUTION: Start by re-evaluating whether your customer service reps receive the pay, training, and respect they deserve.|
Recently, my team and I were working with the CEO of a major financial services company. This particular meeting was not a happy one; the CEO was reviewing customer satisfaction scores that indicated serious problems.
One of my team members asked the CEO: "How well are you paying your front-line customer service people?"
There was a long silence. It was broken by the CEO's rueful admission that the best-paid members of the critical team interacting directly with the company's customers earned an annual salary of $32 K to $35 K. That CEO had just experienced an "A-HA" moment. Given the tens of millions of dollars these front-line people impact every day, what sense did it make to underpay and hence ... undervalue their role?
Unfortunately, this CEO is no exception. Countless enterprises are handicapped by treating front-line service people as among the lowest paid individuals in the entire organization.
This dangerous practice is incompatible with the realities of today's "empowered consumer" era. How can marketers acknowledge that a single social-media-savvy customer can impact the reputation of a company ... yet perpetuate a system which underpays and undervalues the critical customer service role?