Cost Savings and Customer Service

The March 1st issue of John DiJulius’ customer service newsletter came out today. It has a few interesting stories and is worth checking out. Before check it out, though, read my posts about cost savings and customer service below:

One of the main points of the newsletter was to talk about how saving money doesn’t necessarily improve customer service. This seems obvious, but most companies try to save money and don’t think about how their cost savings will effect the customer service experience. I’ve talked about operations and customer service before. However, I have never really talked about cost savings and customer service.

Before trying to save money with certain things, ask yourself these questions:

  • How will it effect our customers’ experience?
  • How does it effect our employees?

You don’t want to make any changes that will seriously inconvenience customers or employees. If employees are upset, they won’t provide good customer service to customers. If customers are upset, they will yell at employees. It’s a terrible cycle and one that should be avoided at all costs.

Changes made for the purpose of cost saving should be transparent to customers and nearly transparent to employees. You have slightly more room to change things with employees, but if you make a change that creates a big problem, it isn’t worth it.

Obviously, it is impossible to find a situation that does not inconvenience anyone to any degree. This is when you have to look at the benefits and deal with the inconveniences.

For example, changing a provider of some backend service may not have a big effect on frontline staff employees, but it may inconvenience back of the house employees for a few weeks. For example, you could offer a bonus to those employees for helping you. If the company is saving money, it will be worth it keep everyone happy.

So remember – before making changes with the intent to save money ask yourself:

  • How will it effect our customers’ experience?
  • How does it effect our employees?

For some examples and more information about this, you can view the newsletter mentioned earlier here.