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17 August 2009 | Dr Jenny Dugmore Blog
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Good Customer Service
This week Jenny experiences the opposite to the poor customer service she received last week...

  Dr Jenny Dugmore

Having had a rant last week about bad service I have had quite the opposite experience this week - the yin and yang of service management and customer experience. Only moments after my blog last week was published my almost new PC crashed and whatever I tried I could not fix it myself. 

I called the supplier’s support line, not feeling very optimistic as they don’t have a great reputation for support.  After an initial false start when I got cut off after explaining what my problem was, I got through to someone else who did an excellent job of diagnosing it and identified how to fix it.  It actually took four days to fix, because a part had to be couriered out to me – but the four days was partly that it was over the weekend but also that I was about to leave for the Brecon Jazz Festival when the PC crashed. 

Most of my data is stored on a server, backed up automatically and so was not affected by the PC crash, but I had been a bit careless and was storing some new downloaded software and photos of a recent family wedding, so getting back all my hard drive data was important.

I rang back on Monday after the part had been delivered and this time was talked through fixing it by a different person.  All done very competently and successfully. The following day I was contacted to check if everything was OK (I’d been left to do some basic choices of yes and no as the software was re-loaded).  I was given advice about what might have been the cause and how to avoid it in the future.

Looking back on the process, they applied best practice service management and it showed.  They had an excellent attitude.  Whatever script they were using to help them was well thought out and assisted by a good understanding of the technology they were supporting.  They logged all the key information and had access to an excellent database showing the full configuration of the PC I has bought.  They had access to a near identical PC to help their diagnostic process.  They closed the call properly and even fixed a small problem that I’d not yet got round to reporting.

This was an altogether different experience compared to the previous debacle of dealing with my bank.  Having said last week that it’s easy to be stirred into action about something being done badly and a lot harder about something that went right, thank you Ryan and Andrew – you did an excellent job.

So, how has the yin of my bank’s service management progressed?  Not well at all.  As I mentioned last week, by chance I had been asked if I would do a telephone survey on what I thought of my bank, shortly after they had so badly handled the aftermath of my credit card details being stolen.  So I expected to be able to explain my concerns during the survey.  Alas no, there was little opportunity for me to cover topics that were of concern to me.  Like far too many customer satisfaction surveys the questions were focused on what my bank was concerned about instead.  Based on my experience should I have expected this attitude from my bank?

I understand the need for structure in a survey – how else can you analyse and understand why customers are happy or unhappy?  But there still needs to be a point in the survey for anything not covered by the standard questions. 

I did get the chance to say a few things – that I would not recommend my bank to others and that I got far too many calls suggesting they can give me unsolicited financial advice.

I even got the chance to mention that only a few years ago I was asked to go into the branch (a rare event for me) by a new manager, I think he wanted to give me some unsolicited financial advice but was completely taken aback that the Dr. Jenny Dugmore he had asked to meet with, turned out to be a woman, we never got to that stage of the conversation.  This was almost a century after we got the vote; decades after the Equality Bill became an Act. 

I should have moved my business elsewhere at the time.  Ignoring his rather startling expectation that if I was Dr. I must be a man, if a manager can’t even read properly what hope was there for anything else.  After all, how many men in the UK are called Jenny? 

Any feedback and comments are always welcome!

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