Customer Service is the ‘Sine Qua Non’ of Relationship Marketing
Lawrence A. Crosby
American Marketing Association
Resource Library Marketing News
During a recent interview, a business reporter asked me, “Why is customer service in America so bad?” That really hit me as a back-to-the-future question since I can recall being asked the same thing 20 years ago. After providing the usual set of explanations, I decided to check out her basic premise.
To classify customer service as bad, you must address the question “relative to what?” The benchmark most cited in the marketing literature is relative to customer expectations, with the failure to meet expectations resulting in dissatisfaction. The company Zendesk, a leading global provider of software and support to customer service departments and help desks, reports that 82% of its customers’ customers in the United States are satisfied with the customer service interaction. Although cross-national comparisons are somewhat suspect, the United States ranked 12th in a list of 28 countries that Zendesk examined. Canada, by the way, was No. 2 with 91% satisfied.