It was brought to my attention this week that it is ‘National Customer Service Week’, which is an annual event that occurs in the first week of October each year and highlights the importance and benefits of simply providing good customer service.

In an era where everything is much the same, the one thing that sets a firm apart from its competitors is providing excellent customer service regardless of any difficulties that they may encounter.

A firm that springs to mind as the benchmark for me is Marks and Spencer where nobody that I know has had a bad experience, they have a ‘no quibble’ service and they know that their reputation is everything.

Contrast that with the bunch of amateurs that I have had the misfortune to deal with in Edinburgh regarding concerns on a scooter service that were ignored even when I escalated it to the brand they represent, and you can see where I am coming from.

My experience has been covered in fine detail for the benefit of the Area Manager of this well known manufacturer of cars and motorbikes, and I attach a recent blog on this matter for ease of reference;

What happens when you ignore a complaint

Every firm should see complaints and concerns as an opportunity to address any deficiencies, raise their game, manage customer retention, increase sales and actually recognise that they have a problem or a missing link within their organisation.

One way of doing this is to employ Mystery Shoppers, although some firms simply don’t care and rely on the fact that they have a monopoly to carry them through.  However, in the world of social media, forums and review websites, bad news travels far faster than good news and managing complaints in a timely and professional manner saves a lot of time, resources, money and reputational risk and damage.  How far you go in trying to put things right can make a huge difference.

Another way to look for creative feedback is to invite those that have had a bad experience back to their premises and ask them for their thoughts and feedback.  This may be seen as a risky strategy as (they) are going to meet people who have annoyed them and have taken up their time, but what have they got to lose?  They have lost a customer, but the feedback that they will happily provide is invaluable.

One thing every firm should (and usually) does is to always respond to customers, and that is the one point that astounded me recently with this franchise that I have had the misfortune to deal with.  I gave them feedback, information and various opportunities that were invaluable to their business to improve their sales if they weren’t so pig ignorant and cavalier to realise it at the time.

Some positive and creative thinking about dealing with complaints and feedback can improve the customer experience, service and sales beyond measure.

I cover various scenarios like this complete with templates based on real-life test cases that work in my book now on sale via Amazon as an e-book and paperback priced £2.99 / £7.99.

Buy it now as an e-book here or on paperback here

BBC Radio Scotland have read it and interviewed me as a consumer expert for a five-part consumer programme they have made.  Read a free sample via my website and let me know what you think?

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If you have enjoyed reading this, feel free to take a look at my other website which showcases my writing and how you can work with me.


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