‘Mike! The boiler’s leaking,’ was the cry from Mrs H the other day.
‘No problem; we’ve got home cover,’ was my confident reply. ‘I’ll give them a call’.
That’s when the fun started.
I checked our insurance documents to find the phone number. Why can’t they make it easy and clear which number to call?
I rang the first number: ‘Sorry our offices are closed; our opening hours are 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm on Saturdays’. It was 2pm on a Saturday – are their Saturdays different to mine?
Mood = Wry smile and mild frustration.
I tried another number: ‘Good afternoon, which company is your insurance with?’
So now I’m not speaking to my insurance company at all, just somebody who is managing the service for them. Why not tell me that on my documents?
Mood = OK.
I gave all my details in a clear voice – even used the phonetic alphabet to give my postcode. No problem, all registered – I’d get a call from the heating company to book us in.
Mood = Good.
A text arrives with all the details and lets me know to expect a call.
Mood = Chipper!
Phone call from heating engineers, apparently my details don’t match with what they’ve been given. The lady who called was very apologetic and politely asked me if I’d call the insurance company back and check with them.
Mood = Head in hands, how hard can this be?
Rang the insurance company – again. Went through security checks – again. Apparently one of the numbers in the postcode was wrong. ‘You’ve given us the wrong information’ I was told.
Mood = Blood boiling.
Given that I’d spelt my address out and given them the postcode using the phonetical alphabet, I was confident it was their error, not mine. After explaining that I’d lived in my house for over 20 years and tended to remember my address, I politely suggested that it may have been them that typed it incorrectly.
The issue was resolved, and I was informed I’d be getting another call from the heating company.
Mood = Calmer.
I did indeed get a call from the very same cheery lady from the heating company. ‘Let’s try again’ she said. So, we did and everything matched. We even laughed about the fact that they were insistent I’d given the wrong information, and I joked about using it as a subject for my next blog post!
Mood = Fantastic!
Lessons to learn:
- Make things really clear for your customer
- If you’re going to put a message on your answering service, then make sure it’s right
- Let customers know if someone is working with you on your behalf
- Listen to what your customer says
- Don’t assume your customer is in the wrong
- Have a sense of humour
Things don’t always go to plan. That’s a fact. But it’s the way something is handled that makes the difference.
If the insurance company had just said; ‘It looks like your postcode may have been entered incorrectly – sorry about that; can we just take the details again’ then it wouldn’t have been a problem. Instead, they made assumptions that it was my fault and added to the frustration.
Their customer service couldn’t have been more different to that of the heating company, where I spoke to a happy, chatty, engaged employee. Her positive tone made all the difference to my mood. And I can tell from the way the phone calls are conducted and their follow-up text service, that these guys have clearly got their customer touchpoints right.
It’s not rocket science. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer. Take time to map out your customer touchpoints
- How would you want to be treated?
- Where can you improve that customer experience?
- What tricks are you missing?
If you’re not sure where to start or think it’s a bit overwhelming, then download our guide: the top ten touchpoints to increase the lifetime value of your customer. Just click here to sign up.
Now let’s just hope I don’t need a new boiler!
Mood = Nervous!