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Service in a recession

The buzzword in the world these days seems to be “recession”. How will your company stay afloat during these challenging times, especially when research has shown that it costs up to five times more to get a new customer than retaining your existing customer?
Advertising budgets have been cut, so the question is how do you continue to grow or sustain your current customer database?

There are two solutions to this problem. Firstly retain your existing customers by offering a service that is fit for use, and secondly, analyse your current business processes to ensure that your departments are working smartly.

You might be asking the following question while reading the first paragraph. How do we accomplish this? Research taken from my training sessions have shown several key reasons why service interactions are failing in most companies today and they are as follows:

  • Poor communication channels from top to bottom.
  • Little or no interaction on a one on one basis between employees and their immediate managers.
  • Employees are not empowered to make decisions and don't make decisions as a result of fear of reprimand.
  • Employees are not brought into the decision making process when changes are made within their company.
  • Lack of understanding of the core mission and vision of the company that they work for. Up to 90% of delegates that attend training do not know what the mission statement is for their organisation.
  • Lack of access to effective training programmes that have a follow-up process built in to them by the training provider.
  • Lack of team effort.


As a leader of your company you should be asking yourself the following key questions:
  1. How good is our service?
  2. How often do we speak to our customers?
  3. Do we listen to our customers?
  4. How many customer complaints do we receive and how many customers have left us as a result of poor service interactions?
  5. Are all our employees passionate about servicing and growing our business?
  6. Are all our employees working smart?
  7. Do we have a documented process for every job function in our business?


The key to the future success of your business lies in the quality of service that you give to your customers. In order to change the way you service your customers today you need to first of all conduct a research campaign to your customers to identify the current service successes and failures and secondly look at your company as a whole to identify operational or process inefficiencies. You need to ensure that you work within a quality managed environment in order to offer a value added service to your customers.

The future of your business will rely on the quality of service that you give to your customers. If you can get your company to work together as a team and ensure that you have the correct processes and procedures in place then you already have a winning formula to be a service leader in your industry.

About Howard Badler

Howard Badler has trained and consulted to the Justice Department of the Northwest Province and a variety of companies in a number of industries. He can be contacted at {{howard@customercaretraining.co.za}}.

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