14 Jun 2013

Get The Customer Service You Want


Getting The Customer Service You Want

From parcels that don’t turn up, to cleaners that damage your garments, to dentists that terrify you and drs that belittle you, In my world service is service whatever angle your coming from and how little or many initials you after your name, if your seeking help and advice or a product, how people deal with your needs as a customer or client or patient either on or off line should be just as important as the outcome.
Although A teases me for acting like the queen and never carrying hard cash I don’t believe that I’m particular demanding as a person, I’ve have been known to embarrass friends by helping clear plates at restaurants when I have seen the waitress struggle. I've done my fair share of plate pushing so if I can help a sister out I will. Good service makes your day go smoothly bad service can ruin at least a couple of hours of your day, statistics show that we human beans (this is not a typo) remember the bad things for much longer than good, so I guess there's an argument for business and services to help make people feel really cared about, special and help them achieve what they need to with minimal effort and when something goes wrong to see it as an opportunity to win back your confidence quickly.

 I hate with a vengeance when the speed and pleasure of purchasing on the Internet is undone, if something goes wrong with a product and you have to spend hours and hours of time on the phone being passed from one person to another before things can be resolved. This is an area where buying in store can be a better option. I've experienced my share of the good, bad and ugly sides of customer service,  I thought it might be useful to share some of my experiences and some advice on how to get a better result when things go wrong.


 Customer Service Gone Bad

I have had the same Dr from being a teen who from time to time has made in appropriate comments and not taken me seriously as an adult. I decided to switch gps and finally decided to switch practise, I love the new practise it has a very different approach.
My then Dentist made in appropriate comment that went something like this- ‘What do you do’ I’m a stylist why don’t you wear a skirt then? Followed by are you married? And telling me I was no super model but I had something. Encouraged by how good changing to a better surgery felt I decided to change dentists.
A big furniture store that I spent time and a lot of money ordering major purchases from during one day, their  lack of clear information about a mattress and the way it was packaged in a card board box! Meant we could not even get it to my bedroom, when I asked whether delivery costs were cheaper when ordering on line I was told no and later discovered delivery costs were lower when ordering on line. Trying to get my money refunded took a gruelling three weeks, of being passed from pillar to post after I was told I would be refunded delivery cost and the cost of the mattress within a couple of days. This cancelled out the good stuff- like the store agreeing I should be refunded the difference between the lower on line delivery costs and the in store delivery option.
A very popular shoe company did not get back in touch when I requested what to do if I wished to return the item and had no returns note, their policy was a 14 day return period, which expired as they ignored three emails customer emails and a message on their fb page, the upshot is although I like their product I won’t buy from them again.
Three mobile phone company literally bullied me to renew my contract with them and then sent me a refurb phone when I made it clear I was not happy with this, they sold me possibly the worst phone I have ever used and trying to cancel a contract don’t even go there.  I have finally managed to cancel my contract with them after three years, being held hostage as a customer is no fun!
I took a new coat to a family run dry cleaners to be pressed it came back with the hem pressed low, so it hung beneath the coat hem at the front and a welt mark in the wool and cashmere which kind of defeated the purpose of getting it pressed! I made the mistake of not checking it before I left, when I rang up and explained I got a stroppy response about not checking my coat at the time and that they thought my coat had shrunk before it had been handed to them which I knew it had not. I asked the manager if he could help with the issue, he became very defensive  and he said I could have a refund and go elsewhere, I explained I was happy to just have them fix the issue and wanted to support his family run business finally he calmed down and they sorted the issues out for me.  

 Customer Service That Made Me A Fan

Two examples of great service, I booked a meal at a favourite restaurant for As birthday, the women I booked with failed to tell me that the restaurant was undergoing a makeover so the meal ended up being in the bar, I spoke to the manager about my disappointment who was lovely and apologised, she promised us that when the new restaurant was ready we could have a three course meal on the house to compensate, no limit on cost and drinks were included!

 I recently went for a cheap as chips pasta night with some girl friends and there was a eighteenth party happening next to the booth we were booked into, we were happy to sit alongside the buzz of the event, but the manager apologised asked if we wanted to move to another table and then handed us complimentary drinks when we went to the bar, I was really impressed by the fact that in a three pounds a head restaurant, the manager cared that much about our evening not being spoilt, we will definitely go back.  

What I have learnt

 Long standing arrangements with service providers can often make you the most miserable if they are not right as they impact on your life regularly and feel like a complete waste of money do something about it and you might be surprised how much better life feels.
Always read on line returns policies my pet hate is seven day returns, generally I always return things within the time frame required but it’s nice to have a little leeway when you’re busy so you don’t end up with something you will never wear again!
I personally won’t buy from on line stores that don’t provide telephone customer support as I have learnt you may not even be responded to via their email system.
Many items and sometimes services sold via the Internet or through a representative over the phone are not always described properly; misinformation plays a huge part in whether or not you will be satisfied with what you pay for, whether that’s a hotel room, a service or a scarf. If you can explain that you feel you have been mis sold something due to an incorrect description of the item you received even without a receipt from my experience you can still be offered a refund.
I always use review based sites to find out as much as possible about a product from other uses.
Always check your receipt,  I bought a bag of crisps and asked for cash back at a store that sells food and clothing and was in such a hurry to get a taxi, I failed to check my receipt and then threw it away I discovered I had been over charged fifteen pounds on my bank statement, I rang the store and explained  after checking the till roll they said I had purchased men’s wear for the amount, I asked them to find me on camera, they did and admitted that I had only bought the crisps and refunded me.
It might sound obvious but if someone says they will deal with an issue you have around something you have purchased that needs resolving always ask them for their name, section and what they have said they will do by when and make a note. It saves a lot of time and means someone is accountable for moving things forward for you.
Hope this helps you in your quest for better service gals. 
*Images courtesy of the business hub*



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