I had cause to flag how not to handle a concern and poor customer service that could easily have been dealt with in a more professional manner by someone that professes to be an expert in their field.
This involved a recruiter who simply refuses to respond to e-mails, which prompted me to copy in the owner and ask the question, “Why do you not reply to any of my e-mails?”.
A perfectly legitimate question you might think, although this elicited a phone call within moments of receipt from this individual who expressed their annoyance that I copied in the owner (not that it would make any difference apparently). She said that she has been ‘too busy’ and I could have picked up the phone and rang her. I responded by saying that I don’t like being ignored and her response to that was, “That’s just the way it is”. Hardly a great way to handle a concern is it?
She elaborated on her reasons for not replying insofar as she was waiting for clarity on the job description. This does not detract from the fact that a one-liner, a holding e-mail or even a template is better than nothing at all and conveys a better impression. I also said that I had to ask the question as her other colleagues reply to my e-mails (and they have been in this business for a much shorter time).
I put all of this in writing in response to her ‘plain vanilla’ e-mail which was completely at odds with her abrasive telephone manner. You would think I had shot the family dog the way she responded, and I expected much more from a well established and respected recruitment agency that I have worked for on various assignments over the years.
I may have caught her on a bad day but she has consistency in not replying to e-mails and common courtesy, manners, respect and a professional approach costs nothing. Some people actually forget that they are representing the firm that pays their salary and bad experiences travel much faster than good experiences.
If I take the time to highlight a concern that I have, I should be thanked for doing so and not slated as being the one that has an issue with the deficiencies that I have noted and can be easily remedied. Ignoring me is not the answer as I will swallow up as much time, money and resources as it takes until I get the answer I want.
I always make a point in saying that I am a professional writer and author who wrote and published a book about complaining that has plenty of 5* reviews on Amazon, I host a popular consumer website with over 100 blogs that attracts a lot of global traffic, a TripAdvisor account that has over 55,000 readers and I occasionally write guest blogs for other writers, publishers and the tourist industry that are in the public domain.
There is always room for improvement and I am the first to acknowledge this and learn from it, but there is a general air of complacency in Britain and people will just put up with ‘any old crap’ without speaking up to get the issues addressed. ‘Being busy’ is the new excuse for complacency and laziness.
This points to the importance of great customer service, and learning how to handle a concern is something that everyone ought to be aware of if they are dealing with clients in all walks of life. I have also spoken about why it is important to use good manners, which struck a chord with many people.
I will happily provide testimonials, recommendations and positive reviews where I believe it’s warranted as it’s only fair that feedback goes both ways.
There’s a lesson to be learnt here and that is to not dismiss a legitimate concern as a gripe, acknowledge what is being said, offer an apology and try to put things right. Not difficult is it?
What do you think? Do you have the same problems or do you just accept it without piping up?