At a time when Britain seems to be heading toward an economic recession, the Institute of Customer Service is warning employers against taking cost-cutting actions that could damage their relationships with customers.
“Instead of applying a ‘slash and burn’ approach, organisations should invest in people to ensure the service they provide customers is better than ever”, the institute advises.
Chief executive David Parsons is advising businesses and organisations in all sectors to take steps to safeguard their customer relationships and strengthen their reputations for service.
Mr Parsons says the recession makes it more important than ever to listen to customers and meet their expectations.
“Battening down the hatches is inevitable and essential,” says David. “While it’s naive to argue that measures should never include saving costs, organisations should avoid taking actions that would harm the quality of service and the strength of their relationships with customers.”
The Institute also advises against cutting staff numbers indiscriminately at key points of customer contact that drive satisfaction levels and repeat business. Keeping the right people – customer service professionals – who can deliver the services and experiences that customers want is essential.
“Organisations with the courage and conviction to avoid the old trap of slash and burn will weather the storm most successfully by retaining their customers. They will also be in the best position to take advantage of the upturn when it comes.
“What we need more of now is what a number of business leaders refer to as ‘good old-fashioned customer relationships’.
“It’s important to build and retain loyalty by providing value for money which is not just about cost. Employers must ensure their staff can deliver an even higher quality experience to their customers.”
Institute of Customer Service (ICS) is the independent professional body for customer service.
Many thousands of migrant workers are currently employed in customer service jobs in the UK, but not all receive adequate training.
Majestic College is offering NVQ Level 2, 3 and 4 courses in Customer Service based on standards developed by the Institute of Customer Service. The college can apply for Train to Gain funding on behalf of employers for qualifying staff.
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