I have heard from at least three people in the past week who are afraid they may lose their job. Rumors fly round their companies, cuts are coming, productivity is down as people spend as much time on LinkedIn as on their work, motivation and engagement are so low they could slide under a sleeping snake without waking it. Lots of people are scared.
I’m scared that the service I get from these companies is going to suffer. Customer service comes from people and I am not confident that there will be enough people skilled in customer service to provide the quality service to which I’ve become accustomed. I love GoDaddy because the people I speak with there, and I always get a person not a recording, are like pit bulls with a bone. They will not let me off the phone or the chat until they are satisfied that I am satisfied. And they invariably follow up a day or so later to make sure the solution is working as I’d hoped. Please note that none of the people I’ve heard from work at GoDaddy and I’ve no reason to believe their customer service will flag.
Because they get it. The Wall Street Journal today said that customer service is the best PR a company can have. Because inevitably people talk about good customer service simply because it is so rare these days. (See, I just did it in the paragraph above!) Good customer service comes from good people who are secure in their abilities and the ability to do their jobs. Can you reasonably expect good service from someone who has seen 40% of her colleagues leave and is now doing the work of two or more people? I doubt it.
Cutting people is not a long term solution. Keeping customers is. Companies will retain customers through outstanding customer service that can only be achieved when there are enough people to get the job done right. And it costs way more to replace a customer than to retain one. Contrary to current thinking, cutting people cuts profits rather than make a lasting contribution to the bottom line. Senior leaders can’t afford such short term thinking.