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Customer service training suffers in recession

A third of organisations have cut customer service training this year, but firms are now being warned about a potential backlash over the Christmas period.

The “slash and burn” approach to cost cutting could damage relationships with customers at a time of high competition. That’s the warning that’s been issued by the Institute of Customer Service following its recent poll.

The Institute found 30% of organisations surveyed have cut investment in customer service training and 21% have laid off customer-facing staff in 2009.

That is despite the Institute’s research that companies with a reputation for service excellence and committed frontline staff have a 24% higher profit margin than same-sector rivals who do not enjoy similar standing.

Jo Causon, the Institute’s chief executive, said: “Investing in your people is a key differentiator in business today. An organisation that emphasises customer service, through training and development, goes a long way to retaining staff – which motivates them to satisfy customers.

“Experts predict we are looking at a flat Christmas, particularly in retail, and our advice is to embrace a strong service culture to keep customers satisfied.”

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Comments 1

  1. In today’s difficult economic climate customer service is more crucial than ever and can give you the advantage you’re looking for, to provide the essential difference between you and your competitors.
    The Secret Service provides an ethical, confidential service giving an insight into customers buying experience and the competitor’s activities.

    The service is called ‘Mystery Shopping’ or ‘Competitor Research’ but should never be seen as covert or underhand. In fact our service allows our clients to improve where they need to and can also highlight what they already do well.  We are specialists in mystery shopping services, providing mystery shopping visits and reports aimed at highlighting strengths and weaknesses and improving your customer service levels.

    Our clients want to find out more about how their own staff represent their company, and we help them accurately measure, learn, and get feedback insight from real customers, empowering organisations to make a real and positive difference to the person who matters most ... the customer.

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    0845 450 5963

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