Things I learned about customer service this weekend

I really don’t understand why companies leave customer service sections/department to unconcerned management and staff. This weekend was full of experience with three different businesses.

Car rental service

I had to take service from car rental services as I could not drive my own car for some reason. The driver reached at my place half an hour late and after that he drove terribly. This kind of experience is not new with the car rental that I use but this service was a little expensive and thus I expected better service. The problem was obviously bad driving by the chauffeur, however when I complained to the car rental service about this they apologized to me about this. A few mails then were exchanged within the company , to which I was party to and that was it. My follow up yielded no result. Completely tired of following up this was my final message to them .

Supermarket chain

Yes, I know that supermarkets make you work . They make you pull groceries from shelves, put them into your trolley , stand in the queue , put items on billing conveyor, fill up your bags with purchase, put them back in trolley and then haul them up to your car, while they take your money with a smile. One supermarket chain here was  a little more friendly. They offered to pack groceries into bags for you. From now they removed this facility. Now we are inline with “international practices”, customer services be damned. It is very difficult to haul things when they are heavy and the shopping becomes a tiring experience rather than a happy one. I can see old people working to their muscular best in order to get the groceries to their car. I would love to go to small businesses if they could offer similar range of products because they would get things for you, bill them, fill them in bags saving the effort for you. In the end I have shifted my shopping to online business. I get the service and the prices are competitive. I believe that with the supermarket chain , its more about lethargy of management than anything else.

Finally something to cheer about

It was surprising when a bank that I went to get some work done this weekend, even though I had closed my bank account, solved my problem without a fuss, without a charge and in time.  The customer service was excellent and was delivered with a smile and a dash of humour. Who thought that a bank could be so friendly? They did listen to feedback to customers when they did something wrong before and they considerably improved their service. So not all news is bad . So what did I learn?
  • The best way to beat competition is to provide better service.
  • If there is a cost to it , better let it be known upfront.
  • Instead of destroying value, add options. Be innovative.
  • Do not lethargy seep in to destroy the value to the customer who have more choices than ever before.
  • Put your best people in customer service. The story about them spreads far and wide
Image courtesy of [David Castillo Dominici] /