Don’t call us …

Customer care is something I have a real bee in my bonnet about and I really enjoy helping clients improve their performance. I’m always on the lookout for stories of good [and not so good] customer care. Some of them are so good / bad that I’d willingly pay for them but some businesses are just so good at shooting themselves in the foot I don’t have to.

My current bête noir is British Gas whose every contact throws up a learning point – take this recent episode as an example.

I was working in my home office last week when the house phone rang. Making my way to the kitchen, I answered to be confronted with an apologetic voice on the other end of the line; “I’m not sure why we’ve phoned you – I only answered to save you getting a silent call! Let me have a look at your file. Oh, it looks as though they want to arrange the service visit for your boiler maintenance contract – do you mind waiting whilst I connect you”. Reluctantly I agreed but after three minutes of “music”, I hung up and went back to work.

So they interrupted my work and then got me to wait! Great! This must be the greatest customer care faux pas.

Presumably, this is because their systems are set up to make it easy for their staff to get through as many calls and tasks as possible. You might ask where the customer fits into this. Surely, the systems should be set up to make life as easy as possible for the customer!

Do you think this enhanced the customer relationship?

Do you ever do anything like this to your customers?

Are your systems set up with the customer in mind or are they aimed at making your life easier?

What are you going to do about it?

You could take the first step by looking at “Give your customers a good listening to!” and the associated white paper on “The Voice of the Customer”

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