I have just experienced the worst kind of customer service. Being a new customer to said company, and having placed a modest order with a terribly helpful salesman who couldn’t do enough to assist me in the process… I would expect premier customer service to have been pretty high on their list of priorities. First impressions and all that! We all know how hard it is to get new customers in the ‘double dip’ so when one comes along, no matter how small the order is, shouldn’t your primary objective be to KEEP that customer? This is the one and only time I’ll allow you to impersonate that annoying droopy mouthed dog Churchill ‘yes, ohh yes, yes, yes’.
So, with order placed and me eagerly awaiting news of payment/delivery date, it all went rather quiet. Being a rather impatient type, I chased after two days ‘just to make sure’… and was told that I could pay over the phone which would ‘release the order’ (news to me). A chap came on the phone to take my ‘long card number, blah blah blah’ and his whole telephone manner was all wrong. When giving your bank details over the phone, you want to conjure up the image of a very efficient, suited and booted clerk the other end but what I got was office junior who had been told to take some woman’s details because no one else could be bothered. Not good.
Payment made, I waited another few days for notification of anything! I emailed and was told that the salesman (remember him, he was really helpful!) would call me. Nothing. So I chased the following day and was told by the other office junior (!) that he’s ‘been busy’.
This dear reader is THE WORST THING you can say to a new customer. To be told (indirectly) by someone who you’ve spent money with that they are ‘too busy’ to call/email/attach a note to a carrier pigeons leg is VERY bad customer service. Please remove it from your vocabulary when dealing with customers – new or old! NEVER say ‘oh I’ve been busy’ as an apology for not returning a call/emailing sooner… It might be true and you might think It’ll impress the listener, but It doesn’t.
I am now left feeling exceptionally unimportant and any bond I formed with Mr. Helpful has been sabotaged. Sabotaged by those ‘in the office’ who really should have been taught proper customer service. I suspect Mr. Helpful has no idea this has happened…
Needless to say, once my order arrives, no matter how happy I am with the product, I shall not be a returning customer.
To be worn with care
You’ve worked really hard to earn your money and therefore deserve to spend it on what you like, however, if you do this with the best of intentions (and sometimes after MUCH debate! I refer to a recent purchase of mine which involved at least two trips to the same shop to just keep checking the item was still there and that I really should splash out!) and are given a less than satisfactory service or (God forbid) a shoddy product, then it is your right, nay duty, to complain! My husband and children say I complain a lot when eating out, but I truly believe that if you are a paying customer and have this happen, then as long as you use the politeness of tone you’d expect from others, then you should be able to get your message across without causing offense, and hopefully allow the business owner to make necessary improvements to their operations or products. In fact, they really should thank you for your honest feedback, and go out of their way to make sure you are rewarded.
As Brits, we are often told we don’t complain enough which is amazing as I think we receive less than satisfactory customer service (in general) than say our counterparts across the pond. So why is this? Is it because we ‘don’t like to cause a fuss’, is it because we have settled for ‘our lot’? I am by nature a rather vocal person and my tendency to ‘complain a lot’ comes from my own high levels of standards when it comes to customer service. I ‘do’ a lot for my clients and therefore I expect the same when I am the customer. This isn’t unreasonable is it?
I recently had to use the services of a local jeweller to have some items repaired and expected the usual unremarkable ‘across the counter’ experience, but I have to say I was really taken aback by the service I received from the young lady. She had a lovely way about her and had the right level of ‘off subject’ interaction with myself and my daughter. The most important thing for me was that she was genuine and clearly loved what she did and that really came across in her engagement with us. As a sales trainer who works with people on their confidence and sales ability, I wanted to take this young lady by the hand and congratulate her on a first class job. I have to report that the second AND third time we visited this shop (there were lots of items needed fixing!) I received exactly the same service from her. So I was compelled to put fingers to keyboard and find them on facebook and write a short yet public ‘thank you’… I hope the comments made their way to someone who really mattered and I hope the young lady was congratulated on her good work.
So if your business isn’t producing the results you hoped for, then ask someone like me for an honest opinion – but take it in the way it’s meant, and not as a complaint!