Tag Archives: Talent

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cheap customer service

What Happens When You Have Cheap Customer Service?

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Your organizational culture will develop from habits, traditions, and symbols. What value are you placing on customer service? Do you have a culture of cheap customer service?

Being Cheaper

Recently I ordered something from eBay. The shipper shipped the product in the actual product box, not the typical brown box that most shippers would use, probably because it was cheaper.

About a month ago, I wrote a note to a vendors contact page, in return I received an automated message. In the long run no one ever returned my inquiry. This feels like they may be using their resources for something else, something that feels more important. Perhaps, they are just too cheap.

Businesses often don’t answer the telephone, return calls, or respond to email messages because it is cheaper to do less. The culture avoids expense, employees are a tool, and their customer service is an afterthought. They do this mostly because it is cheaper.

The big box stores, the superstore on the web, and your local (Dollar General) dollar store don’t have the best price because they are cheap. They often have the best price and good service because they have appropriately scaled. In other cases, their brand sets expectations lower. In either case, this is strategy, not a feeling of necessity.

Sweatshop Mentality

Businesses that try to underprice their competition in the hope that they’ll build momentum have a strategy too. The problem may be that they lack scale and when they lack scale, they are going to use resources to either gain scale or accept less profit.

Accepting less profit sometimes means paying the workforce less, so they then become a sweatshop. The sweatshop model not only lacks customer service but it also typically lacks talent.

A lack of talent is often a condition associated with cheap customer service. Not just because they don’t pay well, but also because it is part of their culture to just not pay. The underlying principle is money out, never equates to money in.

Cheap Vendors

A culture that insists on the concept of, the lowest price wins, probably also seeks the cheapest vendor. Cheap vendors are probably also using the strategy of low price builds volume. Therefore, the cheapest vendor is cutting every corner living just on the edge, somewhere between failure and survival.

What happens next? The vendor provides bad quality or poor service. Now the business who hired them must reject the work or else they face with delivering an inferior product or service. Often they choose to deliver inferior quality because it is cheaper.

What happens when you have cheap customer service? Some may survive, living just on that edge. Others may be bought by an organization that is improving by building scale.

Cheap Customer Service

Cheap customer service isn’t really a strategy. It develops from a strategy and becomes part of your culture.

There is an alternative. Don’t become a culture of cheap.

I think the alternative is much better.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, #CustServ The Customer Service Culture, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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being everything appreciative strategies

Why Being Everything Doesn’t Matter Much

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There is a simple concept that many follow in business, “If we don’t have it we can get it.” That may go along with; we can build it, create it, or do it. Does being everything matter?

It seems logical, feels intuitive, we don’t want to lose the customer or the sale so we broaden our offering. On the job, we’re mostly taught to fill in, lend a hand, and learn something new. Does this make us more valuable, or less?

Like many things in life, some of this may be situational. It probably helps a lot of people most of the time, but when we really want to stand out or do our best work it may be the wrong approach.

Focus and Risk

We may call this our focus. What are the things that we do really well? What are our core competencies? In what ways or areas do we deliver our best work, build the best product, and set higher standards with our talent?

Focus feels risky. When we say we can’t do that, get that, or make that, it feels like business lost. It may be, and most can’t afford to give up anything, or so that is the feeling. On the other hand, when someone needs an expert, a specialist, and the best who will they call?

There are plenty of analogies about why focus makes sense. For example, for those who are industrial minded there is the torch that cuts metal. A broad flame isn’t concentrated, it doesn’t get as hot, a finer flame focused on a specific spot will cut through the metal.

Depending on backgrounds, industries, or even rural versus urban demographics there are analogies of the shotgun approach, spray and pray, or stories of you can’t be all things to all people. Is being everything smart?

Being Everything

When your focus is too wide, when you try to be everything to all people and all situations you might be lessening your value. In fact, you might accomplish much less. You may start a lot of work but you can’t seem to finish anything.

I’m certainly not suggesting you don’t lend a hand, build something custom, or order the one thing that is hard to get for your valued customers. At the same time, keep in mind that hauling a wider load doesn’t make the trip cost less or get you to the destination faster.

– DEG

Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a five-time author and some of his work includes, Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours!, and Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

Dennis Gilbert on Google+


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Build More

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Colgate, Tide, and Pepsi, all are brands. Brands have a reputation built on trust, tested over time, and likely recognized as a leader in a category of product or service. Yet there are other brands, brands that stand for low cost, convenient, or ease of use.

AppStratPhoto-Brand

Do you remember something that you paid too much for six months ago? If it wasn’t a major purchase, you probably don’t. Do you remember the brand that let you down? Do you remember when your trust was violated?

Your brand, your image, your product or service are all built from your reputation which likely starts, and ends, with trust. People will pay more, or pay less, and in the long run they probably won’t remember if they overpaid, but they’ll always remember what they trust.

You can build your brand, your talent, and your reputation, but if you don’t build trust you’ll likely build very little.

Build more. 

– DEG


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