The quality of goods and services has gone from great to not even marginally good. From time to time, I get irritated with companies for one reason or another. I am generally aggravated when I thought I was buying a valuable service or product only to find out that it isn’t what I thought it was.
Look, I am not the only one feeling it. I am willing to bet you “get it” as well. The problem today is that it feels like we can’t trust almost any company to keep a promise. I think small and medium business owners are also “jammed up” because they depend on goods and services from larger companies that deliver garbage. They (SMB) gets caught in the middle and winds up eating the costs.
In the past few weeks, I have had several issues with large companies that only a few years ago would have been solved with a phone call. One of the major issues here is that companies in their quest for call deflection or lower call time, simply avoid calls through automation or other process. Recently, I was putting in a claim for a Costco Travel service.
After the adventure to find the “File a claim”, I found myself in a MS Form (no phone)
They will get back to me in 5-7 days (Maybe). I had a problem with a service partner Enterprise Car (Enterprise Holdings). I couldn’t get in touch with the right people there either. Costco travel and the Costco card services offers protection. There is very little if any interaction with a human being. How is this a good service?
The short answer is they sell you on the front end of the services, charge you and then leave you to fight on the back end when you need the help. It isn’t limited to these companies although I will never use an Enterprise Holding company service again. It doesn’t stop with these services. It is in our food chain, our furniture, our flights, and seemingly everything.
When you do get a hold of someone, if you ask for management, there is no one to escalate to. Unless you have connections, your problem goes unresolved and you have to consider if you are going to do business with them again. There are some services or companies that you may want to avoid but you can’t even if you thought you could.
Unilever has over 400 brands alone. If we looked at maps of holding companies and service companies, it would look the same.
What can we do?
The first thing I have come to realize here is that you have to be careful prior to making a purchase. Once you spend the money, it is either gone or it will take a great deal of effort to get it back. If you are in a situation where you are pressured to spend the money, consider it will take a lot of effort to get it back. It takes a moment to spend and a movement to recover.
I’ve been using social media to get attention when needed but that is a lot of work. Facebook, Twitter and other social teams exist for these companies, and they seemingly had more ability a few years ago. Now they send you somewhere unless they think you have 1m followers.
I’d like to see us hold them more accountable, but I think this is becoming the new normal. We may be coming to a point where there will be no such thing as customer service. It will be “at your own risk” for every purchase or service. If great customer service becomes a novelty (which is what is happening) maybe people will swarm to companies that stand behind the products.
What do you think?
Do you know of companies that produce good quality goods and services they stand behind?
If so, let us know!
As it stands, from my perspective, the more or less you spend doesn’t equal to a quality product or experience, it just equals mo’ money spent.