Lead a vivid life that does good

Tag: Customer Service

Bad systems, lead to bad customer experiences!

"The ordinary wait for energy to do the work. The extraordinary do the work to get the energy."I got grumpy with a Customer Service guy on the phone at Trustpower yesterday. I wanted someone to take ownership and they wouldn’t so I got annoyed at him. I wasn’t abusive, just frustrated and CEO type direct.

It got me precisely nowhere!

A few months back, I decided to move our home phone and broadband to Trustpower, to hook into the special deal they were promoting. All was going well until the day that Fibre was to be blown from the cabinet (a distribution box about 1km away) to our house. There was a break in the line and it couldn’t be completed. I was ok with that after chatting to the installer, as someone will sort it asap.

That was a month ago.

And each time I ring Trustpower, I’m told if it’s not fixed I need to ring them back.

So yesterday I asked the young guy if they could ring me back. I’m sick of following it up. I wanted someone there to take ownership. Trustpower keeps saying the problem is with the Fibre installer (who I can’t ring). I told him yesterday that I’m Trustpower’s customer and I want someone at their end to follow it up and ring me back. I said I wouldn’t have a business if I treated customers that way. He blamed their supplier.

The rant got me nowhere, other than making the guy think I was a dork.

The problem of course is not the guy on the phone.

The problem is Trustpower has no system. No way of following up to keep their customers informed if Fibre installs go badly.

Bad systems, lead to bad customer experiences.

On reflection, what learning do I take out of my rant…

Firstly, I got grumpy, and it wasn’t worth it, and it wasn’t his fault. One of my missions in life as I grow older is to NOT become a grumpy old man. I loathe men who have forgotten what it is like to be young and make mistakes and push the extremes. I hate it when I forget that a person is an individual, caught behind a bad process.

If you’re the guy at Trustpower I spoke to, ‘I’m sorry’.

If you’re from Trustpower please, help fix the problem. “The ordinary wait for energy to do the work. The extraordinary do the work to get the energy.” Blatant quote from Trustpower.

Secondly, I was frustrated because I know that from time to time our customers will encounter similar frustrations, and I wouldn’t even know. There is indeed a massive difference between ‘ordinary’ and ‘extra-ordinary’, and I’m not sure we are working fast enough to put somethings right.

Why choosing to be gracious is so important

BurtonOnTheRiverThe enemy stood on the other side of the reception desk, or at least that’s is how the man next to us behaved as he ranted about some problem or another. We too had a problem, the room we had just checked into had not been cleaned properly. We could tell it hadn’t been cleaned as the toilet was full of, shall we say, number 2’s. In fact the toilet appeared almost blocked.

As I stood about to engage with the receptionist, with my daughter at my side, I knew I had a choice. I could choose to treat the receptionist as my enemy, as the causer of the problem.

I could rant.

And rave.

And demand.

Or …

I could be gracious.

I could smile, speak warmly, explain the problem without blame. I could be eager for a solution, but then be happy with whatever outcome, knowing in the scheme of things, it is nothing.

I choose to be gracious, and while the other guy continued to rant and alienate the other receptionist, we were shown to a new room by housekeeping.

On one of the long flights to London, I realised that I had a choice. I could choose to be your typical demanding, self focused tourist, or I could be gracious. Waiting, smiling, generous, and letting others go first.

I chose to be gracious. I made a choice long before speaking to that receptionist, which made talking to the receptionist, warm and enjoyable, for both of us.

By choosing to be gracious our world changes, and small things stay just as they are, small.

I was reminded of that the other day as I lacked grace.

One person makes all the difference!

Just one person in any one company can make it or blow it. One person can sent you away feeling like the most important person in the world or make you feel like they don’t value your business.

Yesterday Alf & I were flying to Christchurch for the day. We had a heap to discuss prior to getting their so I left Hamilton on the 6am flight to Auckland to connect with the 6:50 flight to Christchurch. Alf was on this flight joining me in Auckland and I had preallocated a seat for him next to me, because we were checking-in in different cities.

My Hamilton flight always gets in after the Christchurch Flight is boarding and I am one of the last on the plane. I get onboard and some other guy is in the seat next to me! So texting Alf I find out he is in 17d. I explain to the cabin assistant Alf had been preallocated into the seat next to me, and could me be moved into the seat opposite. He said he will check with the Captain and while he is doing that some other guy comes from the back and sits in that seat.

Now the cabin assistant has a choice. Does he try to make something work, or just walk away. There are after all spare seats in row 2 behind me, and I’m sure one of them wouldn’t mind moving forward to row 1. He can help me or bug the snot out of me and do nothing.

He does nothing and says nothing further.

Alf and I missed out on really quality time together that we will never again enjoy 🙁 (secretly I think alf planned it to get some sleep) and we arrived in Christchurch less prepared than we should have.

Oh, the airline was Air NZ, not that this is a surprise because there is no other alternative for me out of Hamilton.

It all comes down to one person. How often does one person blow it in agoge and we don’t know or care? How often do I blow it?

Oh one last point. The guy sitting next to me heard all of this. He could have offered to move to the seat opposite (before the other guy came up), and been closer to the door, and had more leg room. Personally I would have offered to do that. But he said nothing and in a funny way I feel sorry for that guy.