Whilst taking a, seemingly rarer, break from work and scrolling, and for that read deleting, my way through the endless news stories, I came across a headline that caused me to pause and read.
“Bus takes more than three hours from Norwich to Blofield – Norwich Evening News
It should have been a simple eight-mile, 20-minute journey from the city centre out to Blofield.
But Charles Dyce has described his nightmare trip, which ended up taking three hours – taking longer than it would have been to fly to Minorca.
“The lack of communication from the bus company was appalling at a time when they should be encouraging people to use the bus service. This is not a one off, I have been let down by the service on a number of occasions and it puts you off.”
“First Bus owes their passengers on this service an apology, though I doubt this will be forthcoming.”
The last statement I felt was the most damming and shows how customer satisfaction can be irrevocably damaged and what seems to be all too prevalent these days, is the lack of a straightforward “sorry”. Every organisation, regardless of their turnover or numbers of employees, however hard they work at customer service, will make a mistake or something will just simply go wrong or not happen as they believed it would.
In a world of pretty much 24/7 spin and the risk that any half truths may be found out, companies and in the same vein Governments, now have an aversion to admitting any responsibility, no matter how obvious it is that they were at fault. You can always tell, as they start the response with something like – We would like to offer our sincere apologies that you feel that in this case…
But I cannot be the only person that would just like, for once, a simple “we apologise for this [insert name of service or product that fell below acceptable level], please speak to us and we will work to fix this for you.”
Now that would be a refreshing change.
Looking at the troubled business waters that we are living in at the moment, giving your customers and potential customers straightforward answers and, importantly, being honest with people if it goes wrong. I am sure that you would want your supplier to say “it will be 3 weeks” and stick to the date rather than “yes, of course if will be 2 weeks” and then miss the target.
It is with this in mind that we, as small business owners, can score over our larger competitors, simply because we can react quicker and resolve issues easier, as we speak directly to our customers and not through a sub-contracted call centre and can build customer satisfaction equally quickly.
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