Customer ‘don’t care’ Services
Aaaaaarghhhhh…….over the break I had the please of dealing with a private sector organisation as my phone line went dead before Christmas. I am really, really sensitive about customer services now particularly as it is something Future Shape has identified as some thing that needs to be improving.
We are being told we need to compare ourselves with the private sector as they set the new standards……I can’t speak for anyone else but I have not been impressed by customer services for some of the biggest providers in particular, the public utilities that used to be under public ownership but have now been sold off to large multi national companies based outside the UK.
I had to ring a 0845 number with my mobile, which concerned me and I had to make several calls all of which ended up in me hanging u p because I was going mad listening to the background music!
I am sure this is familiar experience for many of you:
Press 1 for ……….
Press 2 for…………….
Press 3 for …………….
Press 4 for…………….
Thank you, in order to help us (?) help you please choose from the following
Press 1 for ……….
Press 2 for …………..
Press 3 for ………………………..
Thank you, we really want to help you, but first can you check you have done the following,
To help us (?) help you please choose from the following
Press 1 for …….
Press 2 for……
Press 3 for……
Or hold and a customer services operator will deal with you shortly……
Next you hear these dreaded words…
“We are experiencing high volume of calls and waiting times could be up to 30 minutes………in the meanwhile…….why not listen to some music while you wait….”
To listen to classical music Press1
To listen to jazz music Press 2
To listen to drum & bass music Press 3
To listen to easy listening music Press 4
I eventually spoke to a real human being after choosing the option I was interested in purchasing their service (a potential new customer).
Two visits from an engineer later I now have my phone back and a promise that I will not be paying for my phone for the next two months. I also took the opportunity to provide feedback on their customer services. I pointed out that all I want is a number to ring. I want someone to pick up the phone and sort my problems out. I added that I don’t want or like pushing option buttons and to be honest I have not met anyone who thinks this is good idea. My question is what customer feedback determined this is what we wanted? I have never been asked if I want this sort of customer service and that is for all services I pay for in the private sector.
I ask this question knowing that this year will see the creation of a Customer Service Organisation see page 99 of the Future Shape Cabinet report
I have been asked by council staff
“Which services or staff will be going into this Organisation?”
I don’t know. I am expecting a meeting to be arranged to discuss sometime soon, but I would guess it could mean all staff who deal directly with customers/residents/citizens for their service. This obviously has implications not just for those staff but also for the service they leave.
Lots and lots of questions which I hope we will be able to work through this year……………….
For those of you interested in this issue here are few links
Do you need to outsource?
Downside of outsourcing