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Customer Service in Different Countries

The consulting company Accenture recently surveyed about 650 senior executives in different industries from 11 countries. What interested me was how the importance of customer service varied in different industries. Here is a listing from their press release of the percentage of business customers who switched to other vendors due to poor customer service and how it varies by country:

  • China: 55 percent
  • Sweden: 46 percent
  • India: 44 percent
  • Italy: 44 percent
  • Finland: 43 percent
  • Japan: 24 percent
  • Great Britain: 24 percent
  • Brazil: 23 percent
  • United States: 22 percent
  • France: 16 percent
  • Canada: 16 percent
  • Denmark: 15 percent
  • Mexico: 13 percent
  • Argentina: 7 percent

This data can of course imply either one or both of these two things: the customer service in the countries with lower percentages is better and/or customers in the countries with lower percentages value customer service less than the customers in the countries with high percentages. For example, we can that business customers in Argentina either don’t care about customer service and do not let it influence their business choices and/or we can say that business in Argentina provide great customer service and the business customers don’t find it necessary to switch vendors because the service is so good. Both factors are probably at play here.

What have you noticed about service in countries besides the United States? I checked the web statistics for Service Untitled and about 68% of my visitors live in either the United States or Canada, so I have a very North America-centered readership, but I’m sure many of you have worked with customers or companies in other countries and have perhaps noticed a difference in the importance of customer service.

The survey that Accenture conducted had a lot of other interesting findings as well. I’ll be including some of them in future posts.

Homework for Training?

A company I work with is in the process of updating its training process and procedures. A new thing they want to implement is giving homework during the training period. I have never heard of this happening during a training process, but I think that idea has its merits. What do you think?

Homework could of course consist of many different things. Some of the ideas I had were:

  • Worksheets with customer service situations on them and then questions asking what went well, what went wrong, what could have been better, etc.
  • Recordings of calls and critique sheets that have to be filled out saying what went well, what went wrong, etc.
  • Short answer questions that ask about the company, customer service procedures, etc. that trainees respond to.
  • Exercises that can be completed from home (e.g. find this knowledge base article, locate this piece of information on the web site, etc.).

And similar homework activities. What would be assigned for homework would obviously depend on what the training class went over, but the general idea is interesting. It keeps people thinking about their training and makes it easier to process the information in the scope of the training period.

Do you assign homework during training? If so, is it effective? If not, why not?

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