“I Can’t Help You:” The Dangers of Employees Disablement in the Social/Media Era

By Christopher Surdak

The quality of customer service has been steadily declining in recent years, but now that increasing digitisation has shifted more power to the consumer. Christopher Surdak demonstrates that bad service can, and will, become detrimental to companies.

If you’re like me, over the last decade you have noticed a consistent and rather dramatic decline in customer service from a wide range of businesses with which you interact. Decades of relentless cost-cutting, outsourcing and right sizing have all conspired to devalue customers, and the employees who interact with them. For some time now businesses have been rewarded for maintaining a scarcity mentality, whereby customer service has been sacrificed at the altar of “good enough is too much.” This trend towards devaluing customer service is now colliding head-on with customers’ growing expectations of instant gratification, operational perfection and what’s-in-it-for-me. These expectations are a direct result of the “appification” of their daily lives, where their every whim can be met through exceedingly clever apps, downloaded in seconds, for free, on their smart phones.

Organisations who continue to pursue a scarcity strategy now face a range of dangers, and the stakes have never been higher. Cloudification, Mobility and Social Media are conspiring to pull the commercial rug out from underneath such companies and their “race to the bottom” business models.


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