Customer Service Consistency – ‘But it wasn’t my fault’
I am living the dream at the moment – going through the second bathroom renovation in as many months, with three teenagers at home. The jostling for position is as crazy as Bingo on pension day, (which, by the way, I have had the pleasure of experiencing!).
Having spent most of my working life in Customer Service, this renovation experience has found me reflecting on how diligently I have or have not delivered consistent customer service to those I was servicing. Or more precisely, are my team and I are doing what I am now experiencing?
Let me explain.
The company I had doing the work for me came out of the gates hard, with phone calls every day, constant follow up, and friendly staff. It was all too good to be true! But, as the renovation progressed, the customer service deteriorated to the distant sound of crickets. We, the customer, now having to do the follow up to see how they were going, where we are at, and seeking some form of clarification as to how everything would be wrapped up. The last proactive call we have had was to collect monies on uncompleted works. You can imagine how well that went down.
Reno #2 started as well as Reno #1 ended. No one knew what was going on, when, how or why. The icing on the cake was definitely the Friday that the plumber installed the new bathroom taps and then departed. Upon my arrival home, I took an inquisitive look at progress and see we had a steady flow of drips from the tap causing significant damage to plaster in the roof downstairs and surrounding timber work. Not ideal but manageable!
To make a long story short, I found myself standing toe to toe with the very ‘personable’ (insert sarcasm here) and significantly bigger plumber who clearly did not want to be out on a Friday at 7:30pm enjoying my comedic banter about my leaking tap. The first comment out of his mouth when he saw the situation was, “that’s not my fault – it’s going to cost you”, delivered with the empathy of a velvet sledgehammer!
That very comment is what captured my attention. How quickly do we react with similar responses when faced with similar circumstances?
The Professional in me would suggest that I NEVER do this. But the reality is that we all probably have our ‘7:30pm on Friday night’ moments where we conduct ourselves in a manner that is far from ideal. I know I do at least. The challenge is in how we arrest these moments to make them fewer and far between.
When it comes to setting a standard for Customer Service, here are five consistencies that the team of professionals I work with are doing as much as possible:
- As the customer facing representatives of our business, if there is a problem, then we take responsibility for it and deal with it regardless of where the issue lies. ‘It’s not my fault’ is not an answer and the last thing someone experiencing issues wants to hear.
- When looking for the best person to make a difference, find a mirror!
- Resolve issues the way you would like them resolved when faced with the same issues.
- We will often fall short or miss the mark but don’t let that stop you from trying.
- It may not seem important to us, but always remember, that it is to the customer.
Whilst I suffer from the highs and lows of business (as we all do), it has been a desire to deliver a ‘consistent’ level of Customer Service that helped me through the various roles I have had the pleasure of caretaking.
If all else fails? Head down to your local Bingo hall on that infamous Pension Day and embrace the confusion of Jimmy Choo – 32, Two fat ladies – 88, Chicken Vindaloo – 52 and the old, Legs – 11!