You are a general manager with a service company. You are hearing comments from your sales group that customers are unhappy with your company. The comments range from poor service, missed assignments, to technical failures.

You are a general manager with a service company

Scenario
You are a general manager with a service company. You are hearing comments from your sales group that customers are unhappy with your company. The comments range from poor service, missed assignments, to technical failures. When you ask for specifics, you get a general view of dissatisfaction from your sales group, but not a clear view if there is an issue. You have met with several of your large customers in the past few months, and they have not indicated that there is an issue. If anything, your impression from customers is that things are going well. Your company is growing and there are new customers and some new sales people.

Role
Would you investigate customer complaints further? If so, how would you proceed to understand if there is a problem with service?

Players

·         Bob Yeader, Sales Manager:
We need to take these complaints seriously. Our customers are our most important asset. Let’s put a team together and get to the bottom of this. We need to improve immediately. I am spending way too much time talking to our sales group on how to handle these customer complaints.

·         Dori Lately, Operations Manager:
There is nothing here to investigate. It’s a normal customer interaction. If anything our sales group needs more training on how to handle customers. It seems to me that most of our problems come from new customers and new sales people. We have not changed anything as to how we service customers, and have not had issues in the past. Let’s work on training our sales group. Everything will be okay.

·         Jennifer Garland, CFO:
I have to agree with Dori. The dollars we’re spending on customer complaints is small. I don’t see the issue here. Maybe if it got to be a significant number I would recommend we do something, but as it stands now, let’s continue business as usual.

·         Monica Milton, Customer Service Representative:

I think we have a problem. I know the dollars are small, but we are spending a lot more time resolving issues and we have already lost some of our new customers. They’re a small part of our business, but we expended a lot of energy to get them. It seems to me their expectations are higher than some of our other customers. Now that I mention it, I think some of our current customers are asking about more and better service also.

·         Philip Fried, Service Manager:
Don’t go ask customers about problems. It is the fastest way to upset them. They’ll wonder if they have problems. They’ll look into what we are doing more closely and start making mountains out of molehills. We did this once before when we called customers and asked them if they had any problems. It was a disaster.

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