Tag Archives: customer service

Customer Service – Why do companies fail so badly?

Why is it so many companies fail to do the most basic thing and treat their customers with the proper respect? Go on to any reviews website and you will see many negative reviews because of the way a business has treated their customers, sometimes customers don’t realise that they allow it to continue because they accept it. Even if they complain, or write a bad review, they may then still use the same firm later on, hoping it has improved the way it deals with people outside of the business. This only reinforces those behaviours and makes them feel as if it doesn’t matter because people will keep coming back to them so why spend money on training for staff or improving technology that could be used to create a better experience for their customers?

There are many businesses that see customer service as extremely important and they make the investments necessary to provide a great service for their customers but there are still too many who don’t see it as worthwhile to spend money on customer service improvements. Why do they fail, why don’t they care? do they take it for granted that people will still purchase their goods and/or services? “Build it and they will come”!!

Bad Behaviour – Case study 1

Recently I was working for a pizza delivery franchise, a franchise of one of the best known pizza brands in the World and one that has always believed in excellent customer service.

Working for this particular franchise though was disappointing, to say the least. Management considered customer service to be something they didn’t need to think about, it was at best an afterthought, but really it was to them an inconvenience – the cost of doing business.

I was a customer service representative, I took orders from customers on the phones and in-store, as well as dealing with queries from customers regarding their orders or about the products. It seemed instead of me being there to deal with the customers, I was really there to do the work no one else could be bothered to do – and that included the customer service stuff.

When some boxes needed to be labelled it was me that had to do it, even if there were customers in the store waiting to be served, the boxes took priority! Some people would look at this and think “of course they do, without the boxes the pizzas wouldn’t be packaged”, the problem with that logic is without the customers there would be no need for the boxes as the pizzas wouldn’t be ordered in the first place. And keeping the customer service representative from doing their job when a group of people are standing around chatting, including store management, isn’t setting a good example to employees and doesn’t instil confidence in the customer that their order will be taken correctly and the store is being managed to a high standard, particularly where the storage of food is concerned.

Years before working at this franchise I worked for another franchise representing the same brand, but their employees were always taught to ‘exceed the customer’s expectations’ and we were all treated as part of a team. Two different franchises and two very different ways of working.

Bad Behaviour – Case Study 2

From late 2014 until January 2015 I was working for a private hire (taxi) company located near my home. One thing that frustrated me during my employment here was the way drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles were refusing to pick up people in wheelchairs. We would take bookings and the drivers would simply ignore the bookings. They knew where the regular pick ups were so they would drive outside of the areas at those times to avoid being given the bookings, this resulted in customers being left stranded as they couldn’t get back home and they had been expecting to be picked up. This continued until the company had to tell customers we couldn’t do the work and the local authority accounts for the work that was supposed to be undertaken were cancelled.

Good Behaviour – Case Study

I am a vegan. I have been a vegan for a number of years and before this I was ‘just’ a vegetarian from childhood until my early 30s. Until recently it was difficult to find good vegan food, it seemed as though you had to guess what was suitable and supply of any products that actually stated they were suitable for vegans was extremely limited.

And then I found a health food store called Holland & Barrett which changed everything for me.

Over the years I have been able to enjoy products such as ‘Jumbo Sos rolls’, steakless pies, soya cheese and blueberry ice cream. On top of being the supplier to the populace of these great products, this health food store, and the other stores since it’s expansion, also employ great sales associates who understand customer service. I don’t recall ever having a negative experience with any product or staff member in any of their stores and they have always been able to advise me on health related things or make sure I claim the points for my purchases (they always ask for the points card, and if you don’t have it on you, they will take your post code and it’s added to your account – just so you don’t miss out!).

Fantastic customer service isn’t about simply smiling at a customer, it’s about making their visit to your business something they would be happy telling their friends and relatives about, and recommending they also visit if they require health related products. They should have a positive experience and have felt important, not treated as if they’re in the way and the staff member cannot wait for them to leave.

Unfortunately firms like the bad behaviour case studies above aren’t concerned about customer service and tend to ignore concerns from employees which only makes things worse as those employees are more likely to take time off work, and when they’re at work and annoyed, others then suffer from lower morale too.