Have you noticed a decline in customer service throughout the past few years? Although I haven’t traveled outside of the U.S. lately, I believe this decline is occurring on a broad scale, because most people I discuss this with tend to agree. I’ve become aware of what seems to be a trend — many businesses and service providers have made an impression that as a consumer, it feels like I need them more than they need me. While this may be true in some cases, customer service should always be a priority, especially on the front line. Nobody who’s spending money in hopes of enjoying a pleasant experience ever wants to feel burdened for doing so. Whether it’s a tangible item, service, or experience we’re after, direct communication between customer and provider should always be equally – if not more valued – than the product itself.

I have a few suggestions that, in my opinion, may be the cause of the shift in attitude and a few tips on how we can avoid making the same mistake.

customer service ratingI’ve personally never worked in a retail store or restaurant, but I have worked face-to-face with individuals paying for a service which I provide, and many other times over the phone and email. Ever since the pandemic and the change it has brought upon us all, many people have become seemingly ill-mannered and short tempered (to say the least). While this is an entirely separate topic of discussion, I feel that it directly relates to the topic at hand – people tend to feed off one another’s energy. I’ve witnessed, first-hand, countless acts of inconsiderate behavior from every aspect and perspective related to customer service. Many business owners have become stressed with the concern of their future, and this trickles down into the employees who are customer-facing. Many businesses are understaffed, and employees are overworked. There may be a lack of training due to the shorthanded staff, and low resources, which lead to many younger, inexperienced employees not understanding the importance of their consideration and the impact it has.

Consumers have become impatient, greedy, and aggressive, many times coming off as entitled or angry. This may be a result of the lack of in-person interaction many have faced and the uncertainty of our future. Remote work has isolated many people and being social in-person has become a seemingly lost skill for some. Prices have risen significantly, and, in many cases, we are getting less for paying more. This, of course, is all absorbed by the front-line service workers who are expected to react in a kind and considerate way. As we all know, one can only take so much abuse before becoming tainted or conditioned, causing some form of backlash. While this topic becomes much deeper and one of humanity in general, if we all want to maintain a desirable way of life, treating each other in a certain way is vital to the outcome.

As a provider, having purposeful “customer service” will make a significant difference in customer satisfaction and retention, which is something we all know, either through being a provider or a consumer. We’re all faced with one – or both – sides of this on a daily basis.

It’s easy to point out all the negatives, but my purpose here is to draw attention to how easily we can improve. In the Pro AV industry, we have maintained great communication throughout these challenging times. We’re fortunate enough to be in an industry where relationships are highly valued and, in most cases, necessary! Our purpose at Exertis Almo allowed us to merge into this climate without changing much. Many have adopted the phrase “the new normal,” but from my perspective, we’ve kept the old normal – but made it better. Our entire team works together with a solution-based attitude to serve ourselves, our vendors, and our customers in the most productive way possible.

tech customer support servicesA main focus of ours was already our Services offerings, including independent contractors for our reseller partners who require more hands in the field at all different expertise levels. We have a strong, experienced, well-trained, and well-educated sales team who are responsible for keeping relationships with our customers as top priority. This team has all the skill sets anyone could ask for when it comes to our line card of product offerings, service offerings, and the best in the business at providing you with a solution in all things Pro AV.

Additionally, our team of Business Development Managers are available to assist with products and design. Our BDMs are focused experts on our product lines and/or offerings. Having this dedicated line of support helps to maintain even stronger relationships between manufacturers and our sales team, allowing the sales team to keep their attention where it’s best spent in the field and keeping up to date on the everchanging technology.

It doesn’t stop there! The next layer of support is the manufacturers themselves, of course. As a BDM for Barco ClickShare, I can speak about some key benefits offered in terms of support. The front line is Business Development Managers – Lisa Lingo and me. We are your first point of contact here at Exertis Almo for all things ClickShare. We assist with anything from answering basic questions about the product and functionality, piecing together a solution, or getting you signed up as a Connect Partner! with access to the full line of Conference (CX) models and special pricing on qualifying opportunities. Barco offers a dedicated Channel Development Manager to each region of the country who can schedule onsite or virtual meetings with our dealer partners, so they are knowledgeable and to help drive sales. In addition, there are even regional Business Development Managers willing to meet with the end user to help them determine an appropriate product for a specific location and provide on-site demos. They even have Sales Engineers covering each region which are readily available for a deeper dive into the technical aspects and systems designs!

All of these offers have been key to our maintaining strong and healthy relationships with our customers and in turn their customers. This is, in my opinion, a tried-and-true recipe for successful in customer satisfaction and retention. Equally, this affects how we are all treated as the customer in any business model. It all comes down to the basics of how we treat one another and how we work together to create harmony in business and in life!

Did you find this post helpful? Join the conversation over on LinkedIn.

Nathan Dwelly BDM

About the Author

Nathan Dwelly

Business Development Manager

Supported Manufacturers: Barco (East)

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