Better customer service...with fewer employees?

Has anyone else noticed customer service quality drop over the past 3 years?

I believe this is a result of a fear-driven response to economic uncertainty on the part of our corporate leaders.

Following my thinking here:

  1. Economic downturn
  2. Tightening of Budgets
  3. Cut hours and layoff employees
  4. Cutout "perks" like interpersonal skills training
  5. Demand superior performance from overworked, under prepared employees

    The economy has fundamentally shifted over the past 4 years. Success today requires new thinking and new approaches. Consumers expect you to fulfill your commitments to them with increasing speed, accuracy, and responsiveness.

    It may be possible to do this with a smaller staff if those individuals have superior skills dealing with the problems that occur. But I predict that companies that try to cut staff without implementing a state-of-the-art customer service training approach will ultimately falter and be forced to change or close their doors.

    What do you think?

    Have you noticed any changes in customer service you've received over the past 4 years?