Customer Service Surveys – An Object Lesson?

This week, I received two invitations to take part in customer service surveys. The first came from AVIVA, the UK insurance giant, and the other from BlueHost, my US web hosts. What a difference! Let me explain. The AVIVA online questionnaire comprised 6 pages and 12 questions and it took a good 10 minutes to […]

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“A customer is the most important visitor on our premises…” Mahatma Gandhi

This is a transcript of a letter sent to The Hindu Newspaper, India in 2000. It expresses the deep frustration that many customer-facing employees face daily in their work. Dear Hilka, Whoever said the customer was always right never worked with my customers. Half the time I just feel like screaming at them to behave […]

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Will someone please tell me what’s going on?

In the last few weeks Britain has witnessed a catastrophic disruption to its transport services as a result of almost arctic weather conditions. In one case this week, there was a queue half a mile long at St Pancras station, London, of people who had to stand for up to eight hours in sub-zero temperatures […]

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“The passengers were unreasonable!”

The BBC News website has just reported an incident at the Belgian Liege airport, the scene of a fog-diverted, already 3 hour delayed, RYANAIR flight originally intended to go to Beauvais in northern France. More than 100 passengers, mainly French tourists returning from holiday in Morocco, had staged a sit-in, refusing to leave the aircraft, […]

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Employers focus on customer service

Milkround News, reported on 19th February this year that the most popular interview questions in the world are now more markedly focused on customer service. “Never before have three of the top five interview questions focused on best possible service, exceeding customer expectations and dealing with a dissatisfied customer” they say. Quoting ONREC, the online recruitment […]

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“He does it for his mates”

In a touching, full-page article that appeared in The Guardian, London last week about how a charity bike ride turned into a £100M fund raising phenomenon for Help for Heroes, a charity for soldiers injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, the featured quote from Bryn Parry, the founder, seemed to scream from the page, “A soldier doesn’t do […]

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Little things mean so much

Here is a simple, but clear example of initiative being exercised by a customer-serving employee that created delight in the client. Take the time to read it. It takes the form of an Instant Messaging exchange with an internet service provider technical help desk that shows how, even using technology, exemplary service can still shine […]

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The bedbug letter

Years ago, the story goes, when people travelled in Pullman railway sleeping cars, a passenger found a bed bug in his berth. He wrote a letter to George M. Pullman, president of Pullman’s Palace Car Company, informing him of this unhappy fact. By return, he received the following: “The company has never heard of such […]

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Service and the baby boomers!

In 2006 the first of the Baby Boomers, that generation of children born in the decade or so after the end of the Second World War, reached the age of 60. They changed the world in their youth and they will continue to do so in their old-age. This is an innovating generation that all its […]

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A British disease?

In Britain, there is an inbuilt constraint to achieving the best in customer service that goes deep into the national psyche. In America they thank you for your custom and say, “Have a nice day!” – and they mean it! This is because they have a clear understanding that service is what makes money and […]

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