Is There Anybody Out There? The Value of Customer Service

April 28, 2016
I’m sure that if you are like I am, you’ve had that wonderful experience of calling your cable company, cell phone provider, or bank, and tried to get an answer to a very simple question. Most likely, you couldn't get a live person, or had to wait on hold for “the next available representative”. I can’t begin to tell you how frustrating it makes me to hear “press 1 for English, 2 for Spanish, 3 for billing question, etc”. In an effort to streamline processes, companies have lost the ability to connect and engage with their customers. A recent survey by Accenture, a leading global professional service company, found that 73 percent of consumers will choose a human over a digital channel when seeking advice or looking to resolve a service issue or complaint. The survey also indicated that 59 percent are frustrated when they can’t access the information they want in their channel of choice. At Dittman Incentive Marketing, we understand the importance of providing “live” professional customer service representatives to assist the participants in our programs. When a participant calls one of our toll-free customer service lines, a real person answers the phone and helps answer any questions, or troubleshoot any technical issues they may have. It’s hard to quantify and measure the value of individual customer service in an organization. You can’t put a price tag on this type of personal interaction. The ability to provide “real-time” interaction on the phone used to be a staple in the customer service world. Somewhere along the line, for the most part, this vanished. There are times when it is vital to speak to a live person to get an immediate response. For example, we had a participant in one of our programs who arrived at a hotel in Europe for a family vacation and was told there was a problem with a reservation placed using his reward points. Another time we had a participant receive tickets for a baseball game who realized at the last minute the tickets she received were for the wrong date. In both of these examples we were able to get these issues resolved quickly, and turned what could have really been a negative situation into a positive experience by verbally reassuring them that we would get this issue resolved on the spot. I have dealt with customer service in some capacity or another for more than 25 years in my professional career. I can honestly say that exceeding expectations is the goal of our Customer Service team at Dittman Incentive Marketing. We don’t just talk about customer service, it is ingrained in our culture. We understand how hard each of the participants in our programs has worked to earn their incentive rewards, and we strive to make each individual feel valued with every interaction. This is truly “The Dittman Difference” that our founder, Jim Dittman, had in mind when our company came into existence almost 40 years ago, and the reason our customer service team receives hundreds of positive emails on an annual basis from very satisfied participants in our clients’ programs.

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