I have moved over from a PC to iMac and although I am delighted with the visual improvements, speed and accessibility, I feel Apple have a lot to learn on the service support. I have been struggling with 5 issues. I contacted the shop where I bought it and they referred me to Apple support. An hour and a half later, I had explained each of my 5 issues, 5 times to 5 different people each of whom passed me to someone else. Finally the Supervisor told me that two of the applications I had issues with, “did not work” and someone would call me back on the other 3. I am still waiting. So, what does this tell us?
1. Be as concerned about employee development as you are about customer service/satisfaction. If any one of these employees felt interested in my issues, felt empowered to track down the root cause and considered that perhaps they could take my number and call me back when they had a solution. Well, how much happier would I be. Starbucks took this route and although businesses may not wish to go as far as calling employees “partners”, the ethos of “Look after 1. Partners, 2. Customers and 3. the Business” works. Happy, motivated, empowered employees lead to happy customers.
2. Customer complaints also offer an opportunity. Accepting and recognising an issue, taking responsibility, solving and responding to customers can create higher satisfaction than if customer service was “as expected”. This doesn’t advocate a strategy but if something goes wrong, it can also be an opportunity.
3. The customer service process also offers an opportunity for market research. In taking an order, delivering or any customer contact, what questions could be asked to build up your knowledge of your customers’ needs, issues and objectives? The gathered responses to questions asked during a casual conversation can support whatever other market research activities a business is conducting, and very often at far less cost.
The Week: April was very quiet and taking some leave has meant a gap of a couple of weeks in posting blogs. A true catch up during the first week of May. I had a client asking me about copyright and I found this website www.myows.com which is about to launch. It is free and very useful. I also ran both Highflyingdivas in Colchester and The Leadership Forum in Chelmsford. A video of an attendee’s views and a comment that “I can’t really afford the time to come here but then again I can’t afford not to come” showed again the value of each of these Forums. Next 3 dates are:- Highflyingdivas London 17th May, Highflyingdivas, Chelmsford 24th May, and The Leadership Forum, Colchester, 7th June. A limited number of free places are available at each event for new guests.
Reading for the week. One of the Highflyingdivas recommended “Go for No” by Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz. Everyone markets with a “yes” in mind, however a No is also an opportunity.
Lighter Reflections. Husband James was away this week
studying at “Ground School” for his Commercial Pilot’s Licence. This left me with the helpful remainder of my family taking care of me. Guy started by jumping in front of me to show me how to light the oven. I pointed out that as we had all just finished eating my freshly baked bread with jam, maybe I already knew how to do this. Cat Moshi “helped” by trying to join us leaving the house on our school run. As she never comes when called (preferring to watch us from the safety of the garden borders), we would have been severely delayed if she succeeded. I managed to catch hold of her back leg and there ensued a tussle of cat pulling one way and me the other. I had to risk letting go for a better handhold or watching a 3 legged cat scoot off leaving me with her 4th appendage. I won. On the school run, my son helpfully called out to passing motorists “where do you think you’re going?” “yes, this is our side of the road” and “are you trying to hit us?” as driver-support activity. On my return home, the cat “helped” by directing me to her “accident” on the carpet from her regurgitated mouse and the dog had a similar “accident” from the lamb bone he had the day before. Later, I was typing a long complex email on my ipad when Moshi helped by suddenly jumping onto it, to type a line of gobbledygook followed by the send command. So if you received a more incomprehensible email from me than usual, my apologies. Come back James!
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