During a period known in these parts as ‘between contracts’ I have been doing a fair bit of home improvement and, inevitably, this has involved a trip to the temple of home-furnishing-and-lifestyle that is IKEA. Time then to put myself into the ring to take on the Swedish behemoth in possibly the most one-sided bout in the Smackdown series. But first a bit of history…
After awarding the T-Mobile:BT bout to T-Mobile recently it seems only fair to reconsider their service superiority after reading this horror story from previously-satisfied customer and blogger with The Independent Nat Guest. A great example of how to write complaints and a really superb example of how not to act as a service provider when you mess up.
So now the dust has settled on London 2012 and, with a bit of distance, we can try to take some lessons from the event and see what makes for a great customer experience every time, not just at a once-in-a-lifetime event. Here’s my take on what worked and what we can learn…
A colleague once passed on the received wisdom that when a business starts to use sporting metaphors it’s a sure sign that it’s in trouble. Be that as it may, this post offers some lessons from the London 2012 Olympics for delivering superior service and a terrific customer experience. This means changing the rules for the Service Smackdown – which, since I made them up and they are basically unfair, I’m at liberty to do – as I’m not able to compare London 2012 with anything even vaguely similar – the scale and uniqueness of the undertaking makes that impossible. Consider this to be more of an exhibition bout then since, on the basis of my direct experiences so far it’s at least podiumed* on customer service.
In my attempts at bringing humour into my work, I – and I think I’m probably not the only one – have occasionally used the phrase ‘through the medium of interpretive dance’ as a shorthand for ‘out-there, wacky stuff in the business place’. Despite my love of aforesaid wackiness I’ve never actually been to a meeting or workshop where any form of dance was featured – until last night when I attended the excellent Knowledge Cafe run by Alida Acosta and accompanying tango dancers.
Or how you can keep going on a path of mediocrity while your customers fall by the wayside…
This is the first – in a series of completely unfair, no-holds-barred customer service evaluations of two similar providers based on recent experiences. First into the ring, Ocado, the pioneer online supermarket synonymous with Waitrose’s high-end brands. And leaping over the ropes, here comes – uh – Waitrose, the high-end online supermarket. Confused? This post won’t help – but might illustrate how to get some basics right in this highly competitive area. Seconds out, round one. Continue reading “Can supermarkets deliver? Ocado vs Waitrose – Service Smackdown”
You can’t talk about customer service for long without queues coming to mind. There’s been a lot of coverage recently about queues in relation to the UK’s border controls fiasco at Heathrow Airport and the rather grumbling response to all this has rather missed the point – queuing is not always a bad thing and, moreover, it’s an opportunity to demonstrate great customer service.
I’m writing this whilst watching Spain play Portugal in the World Cup and, as I usually root for the underdog, I’m supporting Portugal. Having had a great experience in Portuguese-style piri-piri outfit Nando’s last night I’m even more inclined to favour them. The secret? Over-compensation.
I didn’t set out to theme this year’s blogs around films but as all consultants know, two data points make a trend, so maybe I’ll continue to do so (although I’m planning to see The Wolfman soon so that could be tricky). After finding a service message in The Road it’s much easier for me to find one in the latest George Clooney vehicle Up In The Air. But it’s one that challenged my own ideas of superior service.