Customer service … sometimes that is a phrase that can be described as an oxymoron! Over the life of this blog I have written several entries on this subject and have even talked about a few organizations that have caused me grief … sometimes by name.
There was the restaurant in England, La Zia Maria which has been interesting because when people Google that restaurant they will get my blog which is not an endorsement! Furthermore they will get the other entries from equally disappointed clients.
I recently wrote about a friend who found the gardeners in his pool when he was not expected to be there! In a recent update on that situation he received a written apology from the workers themselves, which was a good move. The owner of the company however has never come forward and tried to mend things … very shortsighted.
In that same blog entry I mentioned my “favorite supplier” who continues to be among the worst companies in the world to deal with! I am avoiding naming them yet, because I may yet need to sue them and don’t want to prejudice a lawsuit. However we can all learn lessons in how not to do business from these guys! I also talked about that same company in a blog entry entitled communicate with your clients … I guess they still don’t read my blog! Maybe when I mention their name it will hit their radar!
There is NO EXCUSE for not communicating with your clients. There will always be tough situations but the ONLY chance of coming through them in one piece is to communicate. Several months ago when things were off the rails with these guys and I was getting very frustrated I asked them who I should be communicating with … call customer service was my answer! I will work and communicate with anyone, I don’t think I’m so important that I need to always speak to senior people. However … I do run a decent size company and we are one of the larger clients these guys have in Canada, surely there would be someone else to handle the relationship? What kind of message does that send?
How do you communicate with your clients?
Do you make them feel important?
Do you address contentious issues head-on and promptly?
If you miss these basics how can you remain in business? I come back to my earlier statement with these guys the word customer service is an oxymoron.
Here is the latest installment on their antics … it took me 4 calls over a 3 day period to get someone to call me back last week!
I was calling to fire them … and to ask if they want to negotiate or go straight to court?
When I finally talked to someone they said that they would get back to me on Monday … hmmm, its end of day Tuesday so it seems like they want to go to court!
ALWAYS remember the basics! Treat people well, keep communication open and amazing things can happen. Shut that conduit and you are looking for trouble!