Where has all the customer service gone?

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A client of mine recently shared a story about a company’s approach to customer care.  We won’t name them,  it’s the learning that’s important.

My client received a gift from his company – a watch for long service.  After 10 months, the watch stopped working (it has a 5 year guarantee). It turns out the watch is quite valuable, so surely this is something the watch manufacturer would want to sort out; right?… Wrong!

To say they have been unhelpful is a bit of an understatement.

Initially my client contacted the manufacturer, situated quite close to his office, and told them of the problem with the watch.  This prompted a rather cold ‘send it back and we will look at it’ response.

Being a helpful soul; and wanting to make sure this valued item got safely to the company, offered to drop the watch at their reception.  ‘oh no’ said the customer service representative. No!, you will need to go onto our website, click on the returns button, fill in your details, print a returns form, box the watch up safely and post it back to where it was purchased from’

This did not go down well with my client.  He would go out of his way to help his customers.  And here he was, offering to help them.

He then contacted his own HR department about how to get the watch fixed.  Their response was to say, don’t pass it to the manufacturer, that will void the warranty!

Eh? Surely passing it back to the manufacturer to repair should not void the warranty!

So, what to do?

Because the watch was purchased by my client’s company via their offices in the USA, the watch has to be sent back to them (yes! in the USA) so they can send it back to their supplier, who will in turn send it back to the UK manufacturer.

Do you think my client is very happy with the service?

Having worked in a big organisation myself, I know that things can appear a bit impersonal at times, but really? What is the culture of a company that follows a process like a bunch of robots?

How could you make the process more personal?

What is your customer returns policy, and do you allow your team to give a better service?

If you are ready to review your approach to customer service, email alex@alexpetty.biz to see how we can help you.

About Alex Petty

Blogger, runner, mentor
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