A new report shows that many of America’s biggest corporations are doing a poor job when it comes to customer service. It suggests that new approaches to dealing with customers, such as introducing social media or text messaging services, may be required.
The report, which was produced by 24/7 Wall St and research survey firm Zogby Analytics, involved a survey of roughly 1,500 American adults. Participants were asked to give their opinion of the customer service quality of more than 150 different U.S. companies spread across 15 different industries. Those involved in the survey simply rated the firms’ customer service excellent, good, fair or poor.
At the bottom of the list: telecommunications firm Comcast and Bank of America, both of which have actually made the dubious customer service “Hall of Shame” list for seven straight years. Comcast did particularly poorly in this test, with nearly one in three respondents ranking their experience with the company’s customer service system “poor”. In fact, more than half of all survey participants claimed to have a negative experience with the company’s customer service representatives.
Comcast and Bank of America were joined by telecommunications giants AT&T, Verizon — known for their “Can you hear me now?” commercials — and T-Mobile. Although Verizon and T-Mobile appeared on the Hall of Shame for the first time, AT&T has been here before.
Overall, it’s an ugly list for cable, satellite, and wireless service providers, who account for 60 per cent of the top 10 companies on the Hall of Shame list. According to customer service analyst Ship Hyken, the problem may be that these huge companies dominate their industries, leaving them with little competition and little reason to improve their customer service models.
Of course, that’s no excuse. Hyken notes that, should another major player enter these markets, they could do some serious damage by offering more cutting-edge customer service technologies, such as those that employ digital channels such as social media or texting.
See the complete Customer Service Hall of Shame
Many of America’s banks, like Bank of America and Wells Fargo, also fared poorly. Hyken suggests that may have a lot to do with government oversight. “There are a lot of rules and compliance the banks have to exhibit in order to stay in business, and unfortunately, those aren’t always customer-friendly rules,” Hyken said.