I sat down to write a blog about pitching this morning and then remembered I had to book my car in for repair.
An hour later I’d abandoned the attempt and decided to write this blog instead because I’m seriously p1$$ed off at the moment and there’s a lesson for all of us here I feel.
I have a Mercedes SL 500 and on the way home from Manchester yesterday I had a couple of power failures. Accelerator pressed did not equal acceleration.
Better get it fixed. Better call the local Mercedes garage then.
Well, they made one fundamental mistake caused by a bad decision they took some time ago.
Here’s the sequence of events; see if you can spot what their bad decision was.
- I ring the garage and they told me to ring another number for their service department (get a shared switchboard I say).
- I ring the garage and Phil (not his real name) answers.
- He asks the problem and I tell him.
- He then says he’s going to transfer me to the service department where I’ll need to “tell them the problem again” (WTF!)
- He transfers me but nobody answers.
- I ring Phil again and he apologises and repeats the sequence; this time somebody answers.
- She suggests I should use the free road-side attendance service and asks me to wait whilst she checks. (thumbs up)
- 16 minutes of waiting later the phone goes dead. (thumbs down, crowd howling for blood)
- I ring the service number again – nobody answers and it switches me through to a computer. I ring off.
- I ring in again and this time get Phil. He apologises (again) and offers to get it sorted if I can get it to them (a whiff of decent customer service).
- I point out it isn’t safe to drive and I’m entitled to free roadside service. He gives me the number.
- I ring it and nobody answers – I wait 10 minutes and lose interest. (OFFS)
Did you spot their bad decision? This is what I think (I could be wrong).
Can you imagine some bright spark saying “look, we’ve done some analysis on the servicing process and we think we can streamline it to make it cheaper and better for the client”.
There follows a PowerPoint presentation that is, indeed, very compelling – the bright spark gets the go-ahead and everybody feels pleased with themselves.
They also broke the first two rules of client service excellence: –
Rule #1: “Never design a client service process which is good for you but bad for the client”
Rule #2: “Never make a client feel they are part of a process or a name on a database”.
The alternative was to for me to make one phone call to my local garage where somebody there takes ownership of my problem; solves it and then gets back to me.
That’s what head-turning, mind-blowing, WOW client service is all about. That’s right: it’s all about the client!
Well, better get back on the phone to Phil – can’t wait to tell all my friends to buy a Mercedes and get it serviced at the same place (not!)