What You Need to Know
- Many companies are understaffed.
- People are furious.
- Maybe apps can help.
The past couple years have been challenging, to say the least. Uncertainty brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic continues. And, it’s affecting our lives — both personally and professionally. Inflation, pressure to hold down expenses, the ability to staff for operations and supply chain issues — regardless of industry, all appear to be concerns that will weigh heavy this year. These challenges will likely have a lasting impact on our lives. For businesses, these issues are jeopardizing customer service, the heart and soul of any organization.
Think about it for a moment. Are you receiving exceptional, pre-pandemic customer service? Or, is it lacking in many instances? Seems like “just getting by,” or “glad they are even open” is the new reality.
Labor shortages are clearly at the heart of the issue — with many businesses closing on certain days or shortening hours of operations. To further underscore the severity of the issue, CNBC recently reported that half of the 11,000 employees surveyed revealed that their companies were understaffed.
Whether it’s people shifting to a healthier work-life balance, or just reshuffling jobs within the workforce, it’s affecting the service provided. The quit rate — a measure of monthly reduction in employment — is at all-time highs, with about 4 million changing jobs or dropping out of the workforce altogether per month.
One part of the solution: Make sure benefits hassles aren’t pushing good employees out the door.
Recruitment and Retention
Staffing issues are having a negative effect on customer service. Restaurant hours, lack of flights, and housekeeping at hotels have all been impacted. The supply chain slowdown has highlighted the problem. Lumber, furniture, and goods from oversees are all delayed and going through challenges from price fluctuation to extended delivery wait times of up to a year!
How many times in the past few months has a customer been told that an item is not available due to a staffing issue or a supply chain problem. It’s everywhere and it’s having an impact on consumer expectations.
Unfortunately, many businesses are forced to hire anyone that’s available — and placing them into service without sufficient training, understanding of corporate history, culture, or company values — just to stay open. Even worse, with all the other opportunities available with most everyone hiring, people are free to jump around without much care of their current role or position, as there appears to be a wide-open job market for those willing to test the waters.
From flights being diverted due to unruly passengers to service businesses seeing much longer wait-times, the level of customer frustration is escalating across the board. BusinessInsider.com reported a recent poll of restaurant workers from earlier this year noted eight in 10 said that they had experienced hostile behavior from customers who didn’t want to follow COVID-19 safety protocols. About half said they were considering leaving their jobs, and of that group, four in 10 said this was because of customer hostility and harassment. Are we destined for a new normal where we are forced to lower expectations?