Friday, 23 October 2015

Piggy in the middle

I do wish that all those companies that rabbit on about being customer-centric would realise that it's not enough as a way of thinking, or a philosophy. It's an outcome: the proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the eating.

In the last week, I've had two instances of large service companies demonstrating a lack of customer-centricity in practice. In one instance, I did at least receive a satisfying resolution, which made me feel more pre-disposed to that company. But the other case still remains unresolved. In both cases, I had that well-known feeling that they were playing 'pass the parcel' with me to the tune of call-centre music that rarely stopped.

With Lloyds Bank, I made the mistake of trying to correct an error (on the bank's side) at my branch involving paper, stamps, letters, paying-in slips and human beings. The call centre system eventually realised that this could only be resolved through people from my branch picking up the phone and calling me. I also took the opportunity when I was in the UK to go into the branch and talk to a very helpful and friendly woman who offered me recompense for my time and trouble. But that's a rare opportunity.

With T-online, I wasn't so happy. I have a couple of email addresses. One is a simple t-online one, while others are associated with my Homepage (which is one of T-online's products and services). Now, get this. When something is amiss with my email, I have to go to completely separate departments to deal with the two addresses - which both come into my inbox - as that's how T-online is set up. I won't bore you with the details of different phone numbers, waiting times, passings around and all the rest. It wasn't just pass the parcel this time, it was piggy in the middle. And I never caught the ball.

There it is. Lack of customer-centricity in action. It shouldn't be so difficult in this day and age, I say to these companies. You have the technology. You have the people. Now, put the two together and get it right!

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