Monday, July 26, 2010
Customer Service - Is it THAT important?
I do find I ask this question a lot - actually, it's rhetorical for me because I completely believe that it's one of the most important aspects of any business but, most especially, for a business trying to keep afloat during a recession.
I was pondering this question today and, as I go about trying to organise things for my holidays, I found a perfect example of really bad customer service - so bad, I had to Tweet about it!
I'd been having a discussion with my husband as to how we should get to the airport - as my Dad is going with us, a coach was out of the question (he's 78) so we decided we'd get a taxi. Great. We happened to hear an ad on the radio for a cab company who offered discounts for each journey so I thought I'd give them a call.
Me: Hi, I was calling to see how much the taxi fare from my house (location named of course, I'm not that bad that I'd assume she'd know!) to the airport would be please?
Girl: It is whatever it is with a discount
Me: Emmm, ok but I don't know what it is even with a discount so could you possibly tell me?
Girl: *Sighs* Whatever the taxi meter says it is minus the discount (said in a way that clearly told me she thought I might need assistance to get through life).
Me: Emmm, ok then, thank you so much for your help.
Two seconds with Mr Google, and I found the taxi rate (huge!) and then got my calculator and worked out what 25% off would be (still huge). Ok so you could say, well why didn't you Google that in the first place then? Because I wasn't aware that the company I'd like to purchase a service from wouldn't be able to quote me for the service they provide would be my answer. I was left feeling like an idiot, like I'd wasted her time (and mine) and that I was a complete inconvenience.
Needless to say, I didn't book that taxi.
I find it incredible that, in these recessionary times, one company can be so unconcerned with what their customers think or what experience their customer has, one would have thought that they'd fall over themselves to gain new customers.
Soaperstar, we are firmly of the opionion that our customers are our priority - in everything we do, we put the customers first ... so we buy the best quality ingredients, we comply with all current legislation, we follow good working practices, we test and research all our products until we're completely happy with them, we acknowledge receipt of orders and keep in contact with customers to tell them about delivery times, we're fully available on our site, email, Facebook and Twitter and communciate with and respond to our customers on a daily basis. For us, there is no other way of running our business - nothing less is acceptable.
So thanks, taxi company, but no thanks - today is a lesson learned ... to know that our customer service is a priority to us and that we're always trying to improve, every way we can.