I recently had the opportunity to deal with two competing utility companies. The first approached me to upgrade our equipment. We agreed on the day for the service and I was advised they would be there between 9 and 11 a.m. that day. A week before the appointment I received an email confirming it. Then, the day before the appointment I received a text message as well as a phone message re-stating the information.
On the morning of the appointment I received a call at 8:55 a.m. saying the installer would be delayed as there was an emergency. At 9:05 a.m. I received a call from a different installer saying he was coming in place of the scheduled one and would be there by 9:15 a.m. When he arrived, he gave me his personal card and apologized for the delay. He was efficient and before leaving advised us that we were eligible for more upgrades and said if there were any questions to call him directly.
The other encounter was to set up a piece of equipment. I tried to get help over the phone, but the tech could not provide assistance and said a tech would have to come and we set up an appointment for between 8 and 10 a.m. There was no contact up until 8:30 on the morning of the appointment when the tech phoned and left a message that they were delayed and would not be there until around 10 a.m. At 10:30 there had been no further contact and no technician.
When I tried to phone the number he had called on, it went to a call centre and I had to wait for a human. When I did get someone, I told them that I had been given a time of 10 a.m. by the tech. They then told me that all times are just estimates and he would be there by 10. I reminded them that it was already 10:30 and I had heard nothing from the tech since 8:30. They then assured me that he would be there soon and, was there anything else? The tech showed up at 11:50 a.m. and complained about the scheduling as he said he had been double-booked.
It was a vivid reminder of how to, and how not to, deliver customer service to your customers and clients. In the larger businesses and especially those with little competition, they can get away with this, at least for a while. If you are a small business, lack of customer service is the death knell!
If you are in business, always pay attention to where the money comes from to pay the bills!
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