I’ve been victim to quite a few appalling examples of customer service recently.
It wasn’t just big companies although they were particularly bad. I’m sure we have all had terrible customer service at one time or another, one of the worst for me was a house builder who spun a load of lines about what could and couldn’t be done with absolutely zero conviction or follow up. Alongside that, was a restaurant in Ludlow that refused to allow my Mother and I to share some food at lunch because apparently students do it all the time which affects their profits. I think the Manager could see that we weren’t students we just weren’t that hungry but still he refused so we walked. There was a card on the top tray from the drinks we ordered that said ‘review us on Trip Advisor’, so I did - you can imagine what I wrote.
BT have been particularly bad in terms of their communications with us and their fractured relationship with Openreach and HSBC the same. There are similarities with these two big boys as they were forever passing me from department to department with a long wait in between.
So what is it that makes good customer experiences so rare?
Is it the size of the company? Is it the individuals or the culture?
I asked a few clients this week what they thought made for a great customer experience and 97% said it was the responsibility and mindset of the individual but that their freedom to excel at customer experience came from company culture. The other 3% said that the Management/team leader was responsible for everyone delivering good, honest, proactive, respectful customer service on all levels.
It’s interesting isn’t it that we all think we are delivering a great experience but how often do we really measure it and ask our customers point of view.
There are some basic elements aren’t there:
1. Being polite and respectful
2. Using Sir or Madam or requesting to use their name
3. Not saying you can do something when you can’t
4. Following up even if the outcome isn’t as expected
I have found that it’s also the little things that people love and that make the difference. In most situations, just doing what you say you are going to, with respect is acceptable.
If you want to understand more about how to offer a superior customer experience, give me a shout.