News : Canada Second to New Zealand for Customer Service
Sept 29, 2014 -- Canada is second only to New Zealand when it comes to good customer service according to a survey by service support company Zendesk.
Canadians were joined by their equally northern brethren in Norway for second place with 92 per cent customer satisfaction, just a smidgen below the Kiwis’ 93 per cent ranking.
While the tired Canadian stereotype of politeness likely plays a role, there’s more to customer service, retail consultant Ed Strapagiel tells Yahoo Canada Finance.
"It’s much more involved than just being a friendly face or being polite, it’s about things like price checks, short lineups at the checkout, having a size available or having a clean store and staff who have the knowledge (of products)," he says. "There’s a whole system in behind the service that makes that service shine through."
He points out that although polls like Zendesk’s are nice nods to Canadian’s politeness, the retail sector isn’t just full of saints.
"In Canada we have lots of retailers whose sales associates work for high or even 100 per cent commission, so they put a lot of pressure on customers to buy something or take an extended warranty," says Strapagiel. "For the most part consumers don’t care for that."
Unless, of course, that upselling is done in a less-than cringe-worthy way.
Although the U.S. ranked 14 on the list, American retailers like Nordstrom have become renowned for their customer service despite their commission-based employees. Last year, the company had 100 salespeople sell over $1 million in merchandise, making a salary of $100,000 a year.
When it comes to all star salespeople, personal attention and pleasant attitudes go a long way according to Zendesk with 62 per cent of B2B and 42 per cent of B2C customers saying they purchased more after a good customer service experience.
But if there’s one customer service habit Canadians should kick, it’s apologizing.
As part of the study, Zendesk looked into the use of "sorry" by customer service representatives and found with increasing apologies, satisfaction surrounding solving issues drops at a faster pace.
Sorry Canadians, but it might be time to stop focusing on, er… apologies and devote that effort to fixing the problem.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Wednesday, October 1, 2014