Last week – not for the first time I might add – a customer expressed shock at something we did for them. To us – and I know this is going to sound like a cheesy cliche – it was just part of the service. The man had a unique problem and to be honest, it didn’t require much for us to help him. We just had to listen, and come up with the right solution. It was part of the plan that we have always had for Kollect – do more, go further, take that extra time to make sure that the customer is happy.
It seems that people – Irish people especially – have become accustomed and acclimatised to poor customer service. They’ll often know in advance what response they’re going to get from a customer care agent so they just won’t bother contacting them at all.
How many times has a customer service agent told you that they couldn’t do something because “the system wouldn’t allow them”? That’s a lie, but to describe it less harshly, it’s a script. So many businesses now have customer care personnel that are simply reading off scripts and this is the main reason why so many customers have to utter that annoying but immortal line “can I speak to a supervisor please?”
This is the norm in customer service now so is it any wonder that people are surprised when they speak to someone that actually cares.
This is not just a blog about Kollect – I’ve been fascinated about customer service since the Popeye man gave me a free ice cream when I was six, after I tripped and dropped the first one. This was my first experience of how simple it can be to do customer service right. Before I ever knew what I wanted to do in business, I knew how I wanted to treat my customers.
It has to be about person to person, not person to machine or person to script. Everyone has a different circumstance and a different story to tell and it’s infuriating when you know that the person at the other end of the phone is not really listen. “Sorry sir, that’s just our policy.” “Sorry madam, we can’t override the system”. People are hiding behind scripts and Irish people are rightfully getting tired of it.
We shouldn’t be surprised when a business goes out of the way to help us – we should be surprised when they don’t!