This week it emerged that Ryanair has been fined a hefty sum of almost £412,000 as it emerged that their customer service had been sub-par to an inexcusable point.
For charges such as these to be levied upon huge corporations, there needs to be substantial evidence of customer neglect. In this instance, Ryanair, the budget flight giant throughout Europe, were found to have been charging premium rates to customers wishing to make complaints about them, and the findings also showed that these were almost never resolved. Such service was quite rightfully deemed unacceptable, and the resulting consequences should be a warning to any and all businesses about ignoring those who keep them in business.
Tellingly, customers have also had enough. It’s no longer satisfactory to expect that they’ll keep quiet about a negative purchasing experience, in a world where competition is tough and it’s very easy to shop around. In the case of Ryanair, they may well have cheap flights, but they’re not the only ones, and fines like this will only damage their reputation and even potentially pave the way for others offering the same services. The cheap flights are no longer enough, and people do expect quality. They say you get what you pay for, but in absolutely all cases, manners and respect cost nothing.
90% of customers would allegedly stop a purchase midway through if the customer service they received is poor. That’s a huge majority, and it’s about time that companies realised that these people have other options. They also have a voice which can reach many other potential customers, thanks to the rise of social media, blogging and review websites such as Trip Advisor. 79% of people would tell others about a negative experience as a consumer. Finding telephone numbers to contact authoritative and independent complaint bodies is also much simpler thanks to the Internet in general.
Things are not improving, but they ought to be. There’s no escape for poor service anymore, and yet two thirds of customers believe there has been no improvement, or even a deteriorating standard, over the last three years. Almost a quarter of people totally stop using a company forever when they receive bad service, and yet, one in five companies literally ignore their emails from disgruntled customers.
When will companies wake up and realize that without their customers, they would be nothing?