Confronting. Effronting. Offensive. Challenging. Honest. Heartfelt.

All of the above are themselves real. The word from consumers is that, ingeneral, present Australian customer service standards fall well short ofexpectations and needs. Negative experiences are widespread, deep andrepetitive.

Opportunities for revenues and relationships are lost. So too are sources ofreferrals, repeat business and advocacy.

The recognition and realities of concerns appear to be distant from those ofbusiness owners, managers and team-members. Chasms between the two broadperceptual bases represent a pitfall for brand management. Reputations andimages are being crushed. For a majority of customers, clients and consumersthe most common, recurring deficiencies are the lack of human serviceproviders who can and will provide answers, solutions and satisfaction – nowand locally.

A lack of dealing with experienced, qualified people, who have the authorityand drive to resolve issues without referrals to others, is another concernand frustration.

Automated responses via technology, online, and AI (artificial intelligence)are judged to be impersonal, insensitive filters which do not engendersentiments of reassurance, understanding, care and value.

Absences, continuity and lack of consistency, in follow-up and follow-throughonce the deal has been concluded, possession taken and use made of products,services and applications are registered by, and frowned upon by customers.


The stark reality is that consumers have changed. Expectations are rapidlyevolving. Expressions of disappointment are more direct, personal and emotivethan in the past.

Front-line service providers are unsettled. Many feel inadequate. Morale isimpacted. Mobility in employment is on the rise, productivity is lapsing,momentum is difficult to sustain. It is a cost being borne by commerce,employees, consumers and society at large.

Clearly, many existing processes are failing. Initiatives to improve internalefficiencies are having profound, often negative, consequences for externaleffectiveness.

Countless business development initiatives falter at the very first servicedelivery encounters. Their effectiveness is compromised because of poor andinappropriate attitudes, rather than because of inadequate aptitudes.

In many instances, the need exists to develop greater sensitivity,appreciation and understanding of the dynamic context in which a serviceexcellence outline must be formulated, documented and implemented. No-one isexcluded in the key audience. Business owners, management and team-membersneed to be educated, extended, challenged, supported and where appropriate,applauded in pursuit of the immense potential to promise and deliver greatvalue-based customer service.

Barry Urquhart
Keynote Speaker
Marketing Focus
M: 041 983 5555
E: [email protected]

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