Systems before service

I keep toying with the idea of getting a web site where people can vote for (against) companies who put systems ahead of service.AYGTCYD Pen with assessment iStock_000017409075XSmall

Some have integrated  systems and service very well, but in most instances the two are considered to be the same thing.

In my experience Hostgator provide great service using a single chat window.
First Direct, the first telephone bank in the UK if not the world, provide an excellent response and there is are two fundamental reasons
…. they talk with their customers
…. they don’t impose their systems on the customer

They listen to their customers and physically use their systems themselves.

I am afraid, Personal tweaks don’t do it either.

As I waited to talk to one company, I was offered  a choice of music while I waited  –  I didn’t want to listen to music and I certainly did not want to wait!!!
There was no option to not listen to the music and because I didn’t choose, they chose one for me anyway  – I didn’t want to listen to music and I DIDN’T WANT TO WAIT.

The fact I was offered music means that I was expected to wait. Otherwise there would be no need for it.

Again, I have to say in my experience, having to plough through my mobile phone service provider’s menu system takes between 2 and 3 minutes every time I have a new enquiry!

That 2-3 minutes is my time and I do not have an agreement for them to use my time.

I might buy their minutes but I don’t see any cash coming back for mine.

AND, of course, the immortal words:

”Your call is important to us”

If my call is important why don’t you answer it, then?

“we are experiencing heavy call volumes”.

The call volumes are not high, the staffing level is too low!

integrityThe proof is the amount of times that you hear that.

The words lack integrity.  If they were congruent, I should be recompensed for my time each time I have to wait. 

Again, if I am paying for the call, I might buy their minutes and I don’t see any cash coming back for mine

Having taught ‘Selling Through Service’ for one big retailer, I learnt that the younger generations have not experienced what I would call service.

I would ask “ Tell me of a time when you received great service. What was so great about it?”

Here are two memorable answers, I received:

“ I bought a pair of Jeans and they were the wrong sixe and they changed them”

“We bought a sofa. When it arrived there was a split in the material and they changed it”

We are now in a society that receive ‘Customer Service’ packaged as ‘Customer Processing’ but more importantly Service is disappearing from peoples’ experience and expectations are disappearing with it.

Companies like Hostgator and First Direct will thrive, others which are not like them, will likely be sold or traded or even fail.

For Customers, you could substitute the word People, whatever the relationship. Whether  is it a commercial or personal transaction, the lessons should remain the same. Talk with people and don’t impose your systems (beliefs or values) on them

Customer Personal Experience is everything!

Talk with people and  don’t impose your  systems on them