PC PAL's Jat Mann talks about good customer service

Better Business: We are all customers

Jat Mann shows how we can all learn from our own experiences of being a customer…

Regular readers of my column will have no doubt picked up on the theme of my recent articles. I have focused on harnessing proven techniques on building up a strong reputation for customer service. There are many factors involved with achieving this, including having a consistent brand, managing expectations and also by looking at the world from the customer’s perspective.

Each and everyone one of us are customers ourselves and deal with a number of companies week in, week out. This could be simply by visiting the petrol station to fill up, or popping into a shop to pick up a couple of groceries. We have all experienced good and bad customer service and have at times been left exasperated by responses received from customer service departments.

Before online price comparisons services appeared on the internet, I’m sure many of us will recall pulling out the local copy of the Yellow Pages and spending the best part of a few evenings calling several insurance companies, giving the same details over and over again. I’ve yet to meet anyone who looked forward to this annual experience – most probably put off the task until the last minute.

“We have all experienced good and bad customer service and have at times been left exasperated by responses to our queries.”

Jat Mann, PC Pal

Anecdotally, mobile telephone companies seem to have taken over from car insurance companies in terms of difficulty of getting through to somebody on the phone, and then getting them to understand the gist of your issue.

It’s not just on the phone that we receive various degrees of service. How many of us have stood in line at a shop or Post Office, finally reaching the front of the queue, only to be told that ‘we don’t offer this service at this till/branch. Please try a different one’?

My personal ‘favourite’ is when one is told that in order to pay on a debit or credit card, there needs to be a minimum purchase amount or that these cards are not accepted at this store. Drives me mad and could be avoided with a simple prominent sign.

Hopefully the above scenarios have struck a chord with readers, together with the fact that customers often tell triple the number of people about a bad experience than a good one.

My tip for this month is to foster a culture that ensures your team always treats customers in the same way they would like to be treated.

Jat Mann is MD of www.PCPal.co.uk. You can contact him on jat@pcpal.co.uk

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