Monday, 10 March 2014

Customer Service or Customer Interference?

How is your Customer Service?

Over the years people have many causes for complaint, and thanks, for customer service.  Generally I find myself feeling sorry for the front line staff on the telephone taking the brunt of peoples frustrations with little thanks.  Of course a lot of that might be down to the 100's of questions (I may be exaggerating) you have to answer on your touch tone phone before actually speaking to someone!

In recent dealings with a reputable organisation the staff I speak to are friendly and helpful; but completely at the mercy of the industry or company they work within.  They try to help but the system set up does not allow them the freedom to help unless the computer lets them, for example.....

  1. An on line bank call me, on my own phone but can't tell me anything because I fail the second security question.  Does anyone know sort codes and credit limits off the top of their heads whilst doing the weekly shop?  The call was only to check some unusual activity on the account (and no not that i was spending on it!).  I know the transactions and amounts but they wouldn't accept this as proof it was me.......result card blocked, so much for the shop I was half way through.  Sorry to the big supermarket with an orange colouration for the full but abandoned shopping trolley!
  2. A large professional body who charge for every step of progression.  However I discover a route open to me which was never mentioned, so I progress along the route then complain about the fees retrospectively.  After getting agreement that a refund was due which took a month, I spent the next month chasing the refund. Turn the tables on that one, if my fees were late I'd be facing late fees, interest, expulsion?  You might want to read an earlier blog on that subject before I divert off on a tangent.

Our Customer Service.......

First rate but I suspect you will all think I am somewhat biased in this area.  It might be the size of the organisation but at R L Surveys we pride ourselves on a fast efficient personal service.  All calls returned within three hours, all quotes responded to within 24 hours (if not quoted), and a general job turn around of 1-2 weeks (unless there is a sudden up turn in the economic climate as we are currently seeing).  This service is something we feel all companies should aspire to, and as a result we have won jobs without being the lowest tenderer.

Courtesy costs nothing, but happy clients are priceless (thank you MasterCard an excellent tag line!)

No doubt there are areas we could improve, and part of the ISO9001:2008 accreditation involves looking at these processes and highlighting areas for improvement.  The problem now is that these processes have been set up by the staff assessing them, so are obviously practically perfect in every way!  Change and improvements occur most rapidly when there are reasons to change.  Whilst I am all for the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' philosophy, within business if it's not being fixed your competitors are moving ahead of you.

As usual you can follow our progress through Facebook & Twitter, or with a growing number of people on Linkedin.  But as always best place to find us is at

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