18/10/2011

By Melanie Dawson, Marketing Co-ordinator, Sage UK Ltd

I love great service and I’m totally averse to businesses that don’t have a clue how to look after their customers. If I give you a recent example, my boyfriend ordered some car parts. The company emailed him to double check he wanted a quantity of 2, as the brakes already come in a pair. He actually only needed 1 pair, so they altered the order accordingly. This totally made sense and reduces the need for returns. Why doesn’t every company think like this? Result = we’ll definitely be ordering from them and recommending them in the future.

Bad customer service sends chills down my spine. Examples of companies that give bad customer service are not as far, few and in-between as you’d expect. I mean sometimes you actually feel like they go out of their way to cause problems for you as a customer. Long queues, slow service, assistant acting like they can’t be bothered, hardly makes you feel inspired and want to shop with them again does it?

It’s simple to keep your customers happy, apologise if there are delays, stay in touch and keep the customer updated as to what’s going on. Service with a smile always helps (not a false one), just someone who’s a little enthusiastic will do.

Provide me with a quality product and even better if I get a special offer with it. I want my product quickly and I expect it to work! Doesn’t seem like much to ask does it? You can’t get it right every time, problems with post / despatch or lost orders or faulty items do arise, but please try your best to handle these situations and turn a bad experience into one that’s handled correctly.

One last thing, so many staff within companies, even ones on the high street are not aware of consumer rights, they have their own T&C’s. It doesn’t matter what their T&C’s state, if their T&C’s fall short or contradict the Consumer Rights Act, then they have to trade in conjunction with your rights as a consumer.

E.g. I received a brand new fridge which broke within 1 week, I was told I was only entitled to an engineer to fix it and then after 3 times I’d receive a replacement fridge. Not the case, the goods were ‘not fit for purpose’ and I actually was entitled to a replacement / refund. After discussions initially with Citizens Advice to find out where I stood, then with various store staff and eventually speaking to the Manager, hey presto I received a new fridge!

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