Customers are the life-blood of a business. Without customers, a business has no purpose, no income and no reason. And this is why organisations always try to understand their client base, figure out what drives them and how they can cater for their needs.
I came across a great example of this when visiting a website of a company called Chocolate and Love. They’re in the chocolate business; making and selling chocolates for a wide customer base. They offer a great service that lets them engage more closely with their clients called The Chocolate Club, whereby you sign up to receive different a supply of chocolate every month. Now, instead of having a very short relationship with the customer, where the experience at Point of Sale will govern the relationship between supplier and retailer; the retailer has an opportunity every month to satisfy and delight their customer. It’s a simple proposition, but one that helps stimulate the engagement.
We’ve tried some of the Chocolate and Love products, so if you’re interested, read our review on Shopaholic.
Interesting report on the BBC uncovers how more than 40% of calls to HMRC aren’t picked up. It comes at a time when HMRC are encouraging people to use telephone and online more, so it’s not good news for them. They’re pushing their service onto new channels and people’s expectation of these channels is different to the paper world.
It’s all about setting expectation though isn’t it. Regardless of whether you’re the tax authority or simply giving out colonix reviews, once the expectation is set in a customer’s mind, that’s what they’re expecting. In truth, you cannot provide 100% service, but people need to understand just what level to expect from your product or service.
We’ll see how HMRC deal with this one.
It’s been just under three weeks since we wrote to both RyanAir and FlyBe about our cancelled flights and subsequent reimbursement and I’m delighted to say that today we received a letter from FlyBe who have reimbursed us for our alternative travel arrangements. I must say I’m really happy with the way they have responded to us and I will be telling all my friends of their great customer ethic.
When I buy something, I’m not one to go for an extended service plan, but if I have a problem I will write to the company in question to see if they will remediate the problem. In this case, it was a service that we had bought, but it was no different; I did write to both companies we had issues with, and it’s great to get a positive response, at least from one of them.
I’ll keep you posted on what happens on the RyanAir front …
Well, it’s been 2 weeks since I sent my complaint to the airlines, one to RyanAir and one to FlyBe; and I still haven’t had a reply or even an acknowledgement for my letter. So tomorrow I’ll be posting another copy of the letters to see if I can get the ball rolling. I don’t know if I’ll be getting a positive response, I was expecting some sort of acknowledgement. It’s not like I’m sending spam about the best acne remedy around; I probably wouldn’t expect a response from that.
As a customer, it’s quite annoying to be ignored by a company I have given my money to. I’m quite keen to try and get to the bottom of this.
My wife had a negative experience with Tesco a couple of days ago, where they cancelled her shopping delivery without any prior warning. It was interested to watch Tesco’s response, which was initially going to make a negative experience even worse. When she phone to enquire about the order she was fobbed off and she wrote an extremely annoyed letter of complaint. It took them 3 days to respond, which did nothing to help improve the situation; but last night she got an email back with an apology and a £10 voucher.
My wife was satisfied with this; the voucher helped but what she was really after was an apology. The problem here however is that for 3 solid days, all her friends and family have been hearing about the negative experience and all this affects their perception of the retailer. The situation could have been turned on its head if the person at the other end of the phone when she called had the presence to offer an apology and deal with her complaint successfully; much like a quick trim from some problematic tuft . Unfortunately, however, a complaint needs to filter though numerous stages before it can be dealt with successfully and all this does is increase the frustration at the client’s end.
So, we had an interesting experience on our recent holiday to Malta, having cancelled flights with both FlyBe and RyanAir. Anyway, we had to make alternative travel arrangements in both cases, and I’ve just written to them expecting reimbursement for our cancellation, as per EU Regulations. It will be interesting to see what responses I get from each one and what process they will try and implements.
It was quite a harrowing experience, having to change airports and reroute while travelling with 2 newborn twins, a 3-year old and a pile of luggage. It’s going to take more than hair vitamins to get the stress out of my hair (what’s left of it) this time! And now I have to deal with the airlines. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.