ISS Blog

Service With a Smile

We all know customer service is a key component to retaining tenants and attracting new ones. Whether it’s over the phone or in person, treating customers like royalty is essential in today’s competitive environment.

So imagine the PR nightmare of being named to a Customer Service Hall of Shame. Last week, MSN Money named 10 big-time corporations to this sad list.  Time Warner’s AOL tops the list, followed closely by Comcast, Sprint and Abercrombie & Fitch. This is the second year MSN Money has compiled the list, which ranks companies with the worst customer service based on a nationwide survey commissioned by MSN Money and conducted online in March by Zogby International.

More than 7,000 people across the country were asked to rate their customer experiences with 140 leading companies in 14 industries, including airlines, hotels, insurance companies and big-box stores such as Wal-Mart. Respondents could answer “excellent,” “good,” “fair,” “poor,” “not familiar” or “not sure.” Rankings were based on the percentage of people familiar with a company who answered “poor.”

One company proclaimed its poor listing was due in part to its sheer size. Handling millions of calls and customers every year will lead to some dissatisfied people. Some, like Sprint, have taken action to ensure the company doesn’t land on MSN Money’s list next year.

While you probably don’t have millions of customers flooding your phone lines or walking through your door, you still need to have excellent customer service. Even one bad interaction can cost you not only that customer but everyone that customer tells. We all know how great word-of-mouth can be—both the positive and negative kind.

Here’s a story from the ISS archives about creative customer service, such as contacting new rentals within 30 days and participating in charity events. And another article on I found on About.com titled 8 Rules for Good Customer Service.

If you’d like to share your tips on customer service, click on the 'Post of Comment' link below or send me an e-mail at [email protected].  

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