The Art of Customer Service

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This blog entry is a response to a topic suggestion by Douglas Hanna. It covers the art of customer service, a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

1. Start at the top. The CEO’s attitude towards customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of service that a company delivers. If the CEO thinks that customers are a pain in the ass who always want something for nothing, that attitude will permeate the company, and service will be lousy. So if you are the CEO, get your act together. If you’re not the CEO, either convince her to change her mind, quit, or learn to live with mediocrity–in that order.

2. Put the customer in control. The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control. This require two leaps of faith: first, that management trusts customers not take advantage of the situation; second, that management trust employees with this empowerment. If you can make these leaps, then the quality of your customer service will zoom; if not, there is nothing more frustrating than companies copping the attitude that something is “against company policy.”

3. Take responsibility for your shortcomings. A company that takes responsibility for its shortcomings is likely to provide great customer service for two reasons: first, it’s acknowledged that it’s the company’s fault and the company’s responsibility to fix. Second, customers won’t go through the aggravating process of getting you to accept blame–if you got to the airport on time and checked your baggage, it’s hard to see how it’s your fault that it got sent to the wrong continent. (Except if you were a schmuck to the ticket counter person.)

4. Don’t point the finger. This is the flip side of taking responsibility. As computer owners we all know that when a program doesn’t work, vendors often resort to finger pointing: “It’s Apple’s system software.” “It’s Microsoft’s ‘special’ way of doing things.” “It’s the way Adobe created PDF.” A great customer service company doesn’t point the finger–it figures out what the solution is regardless of whose fault the problem is and makes the customer happy. As my mother used to say, “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution.” (By the way, as a rule of thumb, the company with the largest market capitalization is the one at fault.)

5. Don’t finger the pointer. Great customer service companies don’t shoot the messenger. When it comes to customer service, it could be a customer, an employee, a vendor, or a consultant who’s doing the pointing. The goal is not to silence the messenger, but to fix the problem that the messenger brought so that other customers don’t have a bad experience.

6. Don’t be paranoid. One of the most common justifications for anti-service is “What if everyone did this?” For example, what if everyone bought a new wardrobe when we lost their luggage? Or, to cite the often-told, perhaps apocryphal, story of a customer returning a tire to Nordstrom even though everyone knows Nordstrom doesn’t sell tires, what if everyone started returning tires to Nordstrom? The point is: Don’t assume that the worst case is going to be the common case. There will be outlier abusers, yes, but generally people are reasonable. If you put in a policy to take care of the worst case, bad people, it will antagonize and insult the bulk of your customers.

7. Hire the right kind of people. To put it mildly, customer service is not a job for everyone. The ideal customer service person derives great satisfaction by helping people and solving problems. This cannot be said of every job candidate. It’s the company’s responsibility to hire the right kind of people for this job because it can be a bad experience for the employee and the customer when you hire folks without a service orientation.

8. Under promise and over deliver. The goal is to delight a customer. For example, the signs in the lines at DisneyLand that tell you how long you’ll have to wait from each point are purposely over-stated. When you get to the ride in less time, you’re delighted. Imagine if the signs were understated–you’d be angry because Disneyland lied to you.

9. Integrate customer service into the maintstream. Let’s see: sales makes the big bucks. Marketing does the fun stuff. Engineers, well, you leave them alone in their dark caves. Accounting cuts the paychecks. And support? Do to the dirty work of talking to pissed off customers when nothing else works. Herein lies the problem: customer service has as much to do with a company’s reputation as sales, marketing, engineering, and finance. So integrate customer service into the mainstream of the company and do not consider it profit-sucking necessary evil. A customer service hero deserves all the accolades that a sales, marketing, or engineering one does.

10. Put it all together. To put several recommendations in action, suppose a part breaks in the gizmo that a customer bought from you. First, take responsibility: “I’m sorry that it broke.” Second, don’t point the finger–that is, don’t say, “We buy that part from a supplier.” Third, put the customer in control: “When would like the replacement by?” Fourth, under promise and over deliver: Send it at no additional charge via a faster shipping method than necessary. That’s the way to create legendary customer service.

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By | 2016-10-24T14:27:49+00:00 April 10th, 2006|Categories: Uncategorized|57 Comments

About the Author:

Guy Kawasaki is the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Formerly, he was an advisor to the Motorola business unit of Google and chief evangelist of Apple. He is also the author of The Art of Social Media, The Art of the Start, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, Enchantment, and nine other books. Kawasaki has a BA from Stanford University and an MBA from UCLA as well as an honorary doctorate from Babson College.

57 Comments

  1. Smittie April 10, 2006 at 7:22 am - Reply

    Hum.
    Doesn’t sound like Guy is a big fan of outsourcing customer service to companies on another continent where English is not a primary language.
    Aloha

  2. Diane Ensey April 10, 2006 at 7:56 am - Reply

    I would stretch #1 even further, Guy, and say that a CEO that doesn’t value employees (as well as customers and customer service) has a real problem. Why should an employee care about customer service if they know management doesn’t care about them or sees them just as easily replaceable goods?

  3. The Bead Feed April 10, 2006 at 8:07 am - Reply

    The Art of Customer Service

    Guy Kawasaki is a former Apple employee and was on the team responsible for the success of the Macintosh computer. Since then, he has founded a slew of software companies and become a well known business writer. I found this

  4. Doug Hanna April 10, 2006 at 10:17 am - Reply

    Good post, Guy. 🙂 You covered some of the important concepts like not blaming others.

  5. Margherite April 10, 2006 at 10:18 am - Reply

    I may not always appreciate LL Bean’s prices, but I’ll never forget the day we returned a 10-year-old tent with one of the grommets having disintegrated. They gave us a new one. Unfortunately, I’ve learned to live with mediocrity in the companies I’ve worked for .. getting fired a number of times for being the messenger has taught me a few things about tech companies. Mostly, they rationalize that their product’s “unique” features make up for every other corporate shortcoming.

  6. Doug Hanna April 10, 2006 at 10:19 am - Reply

    *blaming. Another important one is paying attention and keeping little details in mind. That sets the difference between customer service that’s just acceptable and great.

  7. foo April 10, 2006 at 11:16 am - Reply

    One important thing is for support employees to try and understand the customer’s problem.
    I recently called a company that provides a service to me for a monthly fee. I wanted to find out whether a fairly unusual case was covered by the service or not. Their answer was no, before I could even state what exactly the case I was inquiring about was. It doesn’t help to hear “no” this early on in the conversation even if that is the ultimate answer to your question.

  8. Jerry Cederquist April 10, 2006 at 1:11 pm - Reply

    Guy, check out http://verdegroup.ca/ for an interesting take on the costs of not doing a good job with customer service.
    I look forward to your blog — always something thought provoking. Best regards.

  9. Eric April 10, 2006 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    I take great exception to this one:
    “8. Under promise and over deliver. The goal is to delight a customer. For example, the signs in the lines at DisneyLand that tell you how long you’ll have to wait from each point are purposely over-stated. When you get to the ride in less time, you’re delighted. Imagine if the signs were understated–you’d be angry because Disneyland lied to you.”
    We in the music business like to call what Disneyland is doing here “lying.” What I learn from this example is that I can’t trust Disneyland to know how long it will take to get to the front of the line – what else can’t I trust them on?
    Delight a customer by setting their expectations reasonably and then meet them.

  10. Brad Hutchings April 10, 2006 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    In the real world, customer service can be intractible. I agree, always be nice and courteous and accomodating. I disagree with always solving the user’s problem. Hang around developer tools circles as a customer and watch what inconsiderate idots other customers can be. It will change your perspective on customer service entirely. There are such a thing as high-cost customers, and 95% of the time, it’s better if they are your competitors’ customers.

  11. Gary April 10, 2006 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Right on.. at Tunecore, we have really prioritized customer support, as we have a complex process behind our business model.. and there is no stigma to support, the head of tech (me:) and the CEO have answered plenty of support mails. Some customers need more hand holding than others but we treat everyone the same. We have decided that until we get too big to do it, all customers will recieve absolutely top notch individual service, it’s one thing we can afford to do as a small company. It’s a favorite part of my job, as it usually has a definite ending with a happy customer 🙂

  12. scooblog by josh ledgard April 10, 2006 at 2:14 pm - Reply

    Recommended Reading for Managers at Microsoft

    2. Put the customer in control. The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees…

  13. bryan April 10, 2006 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe there aren’t 100 comments on this post! Maybe it’s too common sense?
    A great followup post could talk about how to identify those customers that you don’t want – the ones that suck down your resources.

  14. Startup Fever April 10, 2006 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    The Art of Customer Service

    Guy Kawasaki on the art of customer service:
    This blog entry is a response to a topic suggestion by Douglas Hanna. It covers the art of customer service, a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

  15. Scott Gingold April 10, 2006 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Guy, one more point, and admittedly I am biased in this regard as my firm (www.powerfeedback.com) does this every day for our clients. NEVER stop measuring the customer service that you are, or perhaps think you are, providing to your customers and clients. I also highly recommend using an outside independent firm to give the process more credibility and to build a greater trust factor. We have a saying; “if you don’t ask, they can’t tell!”

  16. Josh April 10, 2006 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Guy,
    Another anecdote for great customer service I have seen displayed is when a steak is undercooked. You send it back and its cooked properly, but its also a better quality meat. This is the underpromise and overdeliver you speak of.
    This actually happened the other night when my fiance and I were out to eat.

  17. Golden Practices April 10, 2006 at 5:14 pm - Reply

    Leadership, Role Modeling, Call it What You Will

    I didn’t get past the first bullet-point of Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of Customer Service without needing to post this immediately:1. Start at the top. The CEO’s attitude towards customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of service that a…

  18. John C. Randolph April 10, 2006 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Your very first item is exactly why I believe Microsoft is headed for the same fate as the Soviet Union. Their current licensing scheme is all about making the customer prove he’s not a thief. Stupid, and evil.
    -jcr

  19. Niko Neugebauer April 10, 2006 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Very interesting ! As in 2 days i am leaving the firm, which has a “service-desk”, i felt that it was important to send them a link to this article, in a hope that some people will find something interesting inside.
    I agree with you on the nr.8, because i believe that everyone likes to get pleasant surprises, but i feel that it is also important not to overestimate, i mean to not scare the customer – a good example would be “to wait for 90 minutes in a Disneyland queue”. A lot of the customers will leave or move on.

  20. Del Nelson April 10, 2006 at 7:12 pm - Reply

    Basically aligned with the approach of W. Edwards Deming. Nice! We need more.

  21. The Social Customer Manifesto April 10, 2006 at 9:19 pm - Reply

    No, Really. Put The Customer In Charge.

    Guy Kawasaki* cranks out a top-10 list on “The Art Of Customer Service.” My favorite of the lot: Put the customer in control. The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control.

  22. W.P. Wily April 10, 2006 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    Guy, I’d like to hear some thoughts on how to reconcile points 4 and 6 with the real world of software support. We sell an Internet product with a 30-day free trial and free support. Being Internet software, you have to have your Windows Internet connection working in order to use our software (duh), and know some basic Internet stuff (like your mail server names).
    You know what we were getting in our support queue? Tons of people who have no idea how to get their Internet connection working. More alarmingly, most of them did not have a clue as to whether they would need our product, but downloaded and installed it anyway so they could use our free support to get their Internet working. What the heck do you do now?
    I started pointing some of the more obvious abusers to Windows pay-for-help services, and all I got was complaints back about not honoring our free support offer. Windows Internet support is a black hole, I can’t spend all day helping freeloaders! HELP!

  23. Basileios April 10, 2006 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    My ‘lesson from the trenches’ of software customer support is that you should never treat your customer as an idiot. Treating him as an idiot gives you simply idiotic responses to which you can only reply with one syllable sounds. Treating your customer as an intelligent human being with an alternative perspective to your software than yourself, the CEO, the software engineers is a true eye-opener.

  24. growstate.com April 11, 2006 at 1:36 am - Reply

    Guy on customer service

    Guy wrote a great piece on customer service today. He discusses CEO attitude, employee empowerment, problem solving, and much more.
    (Alas, he doesnt discuss Imagination.)

  25. Doug Hanna April 11, 2006 at 4:37 am - Reply

    W.P Wily,
    You’re in a tough situation. If it has already gotten out of control, you can’t do very much besides stop it completely. My suggestion would be to add something to your on hold message saying “We are not able to assit customers with products other than -your product name-.” A good thing to consider looking into is one of those pay-for-Windows support services and referring customers will problems to them. You can probably arrange where you get a percentage and if you can assure your customers that the company’s service is good, then you’ll be set.
    Best of luck,
    Douglas H.

  26. Jayanth April 11, 2006 at 6:56 am - Reply

    Hi Guy,
    Nice writeup as usual. However don’t you think, if your employees are happy, you have customers happy? What do you say on this?

  27. Scott Gingold April 11, 2006 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Jayanth, I don’t mean to sound like a wise guy, but have you ever heard of ignorant bliss? I can’t tell you how many times we have done client work where the employees were happy as can be and believed that their customers were equally satisifed only to learn that was not the case. Sorta of a perception and reality check. Just think of some really big companies that are no longer in business. More times than not their employees were happy due to nice salaries, generous bonuses, etc., but, their customer base was disatissfied.

  28. Destination: World Class by Jay Gilmore April 11, 2006 at 8:55 am - Reply

    Stupid Mistakes and Kawasaki Art

    I have been reading some new-to-me blogs of late about business and entrepreneurship. Yaro Staraks Small Business Branding is one of them. Today he posted on Steve Pavlinas, 10 Stupid Small Business Mistakes. If you are self-employed and …

  29. The Otterman Empire @ work April 11, 2006 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Great Customer service and just why are companies scared of us anyway?

  30. The Otterman Empire @ work April 11, 2006 at 9:54 am - Reply

    Great Customer service and just why are companies scared of us anyway?

  31. The Otterman Empire @ work April 11, 2006 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Great Customer service and just why are companies scared of us anyway?

  32. Jeff April 11, 2006 at 11:42 am - Reply

    What about “bad” (i really don’t like this word) consumers. I worked in a Staples, and someday i had a woman in wanting me to replace a calculator with a broken screen, physical dommage. Eventually i replaced it even knowing that it was her fault, i said to myself that day that the bad-mouthing wasn’t worth a calcutor. Do you think i was right?

  33. Florian Komm April 11, 2006 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Dear Guy,
    I am a big fan of your blog. This post hits the a nerve. I can recommend this guidlines to every company. The company where I work takes customer care very serouisly and it is a big success.

  34. InsureMe Agent Blog April 11, 2006 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Ode to Customer Service

    I’m not feeling my best today, so I thought I’d give you a couple items to stretch your grey matter, including this post about customer service by Guy Kawasaki. You’ll probably find some of his points more helpful than others…

  35. Doug Hanna April 11, 2006 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Jeff,
    Though you may want an answer from Guy, I think I’ll provide my version too. 😛
    From a perspective of great customer service, you were right. From the perspective of your manager (whether it be at the store, district, state, whatever), you probably shouldn’t have.
    Good stores and companies often replace products for the customer if it’s completely the customer’s fault for the reason you mentioned – to avoid bad press. I would say it’s likely that the woman you replaced the calculator for will come back to Staples again.
    I shop at Sharper Image because they have such a great return policy and will always happily accept anything for any reason. Plus, they don’t make me bother with receipts and those other annoyances.
    From the customer service perspective, you definitely did the right thing. 🙂
    – Douglas H.

  36. Lifehacker April 12, 2006 at 4:00 pm - Reply

    Better customer service

    Guy Kawasaki has some good tips on improving customer service. Even if you don’t have customers, this worth a read if you work with others. The first tip? Start at the top! The CEO’s attitude towards customer service is the…

  37. Shital Shah April 12, 2006 at 7:14 pm - Reply

    Too broad and too generic. You can say most of this for almost any aspect of a business. I was hopping for mention of specific tools, workflows, scenarios instead of generic “be good” advise.

  38. BSousa.com April 12, 2006 at 8:11 pm - Reply

    Customer service – Hug Your Customers

    As a follow up to one of his articles, The Art of Customer Service, guy points us to Introduction to Little Things.
    I wont go into an in-depth analysis of the article (you should read it completly) but what I want to point out is that all the to…

  39. Marketing and Management Update April 13, 2006 at 11:09 am - Reply

    Time for a Customer Service Tune-Up?

    The Art of Customer Service, by Guy Kawasaki is a great post that is probably mis-titled.  Guy takes what most people believe to be an art and turns it into a science with a simple ten-point plan to turn your organization into one that your customers …

  40. ThinkTone April 13, 2006 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    The death of a customer

    (I sent this email to my Cingular representative today)
    If a customer receives great service they might tell two friends. If they have bad service they will tell everyone they know.
    Sometime in the past six months or so I came to the reali…

  41. Norman S Guadagno April 13, 2006 at 12:32 pm - Reply

    A very clear set of points. I think that we are entering a new era of consumer taking even more power away from companies with inferior customer service. My most blog entry talks about my woes with Cingular Wireless and what I am doing to take back my rights.
    http://thinktone.wordpress.com/2006/04/13/the-death-of-a-customer/

  42. Audrey Craipain April 13, 2006 at 4:14 pm - Reply

    I completely agree with tenet #9. It goes without saying that customer service is undeniably a reflection of a company’s brand – which brings me to the whole phone customer service issue and the stir that Paul English has caused around the automation of customer service and his plea for a human on the phone – yet never really offers a solution. Companies cannot afford to solely depend on live customer service agents, there has to be other alternatives that are just as good if not better. Companies like Brookstone and 800-FLOWERS take that into consideration and offer great voice-automated customer service which I believe is an area that Paul unfortunately leaves out.

  43. Futurelab's Blog April 14, 2006 at 3:09 am - Reply

    The Art of Customer Service, Part II

    by: Guy Kawasaki I found a very good follow-up to my posting called The Art of Customer Service. This is by Doug Hanna, and the entire text plus some other postings about customer service are available here: http://snipurl.com/p3w5…

  44. Dina Beach Lynch, Esq. April 15, 2006 at 9:11 am - Reply

    What powerful statements you make, Guy, especially numbers one and nine. The same concept applies to creating a meaningful, healthy work environment.
    When professionals can’t articulate the core values of a firm, or how those values are integrated into their daily work, then the failure rests squarely on the shoulders of firm leaders. Firm leaders should be expected to make the firm climate, in addition to making rain. It all starts at the top.
    If leaders are truly committed to creating a climate that delivers superior work and customer service, they will find a way for the ‘pointer’ (as you call him or her) to be heard and values as an important contributor to their climate.
    Implementing an Ombuds program is an effective way to ‘listen to and engage’ professionals in these kinds of discussions. This is especially true for professional service firms, law and CPA firms, where there might be some reluctance to giving honest feedback.
    This isn’t just a ‘nice to do’ either. Studies suggest that professionals are 200% more likely to be energized by their work and deliver better customer service in firms where core values are considered critical.
    Thanks for shedding light on this topic.
    Dina Beach Lynch, Ombuds
    http://www.WorkWellTogether.com

  45. The Otterman Empire @ work April 17, 2006 at 4:29 pm - Reply

    Great Customer service and just why are companies scared of us anyway?

  46. Duncan April 19, 2006 at 11:42 am - Reply

    If you point the finger, then three of your other fingers are pointing back at you (try it and see).

  47. equilibrio April 19, 2006 at 4:12 pm - Reply

    Lowest common denominator

    Just came across a post by Karl Long in which he comments on Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of Customer Service – quote One of the most common justifications for anti-service is “What if everyone did this?”. In my perception, even

  48. tonia Mckoy April 20, 2006 at 8:52 am - Reply

    please read clifford Marshall’s books on customer service

  49. Anenome April 23, 2006 at 2:20 am - Reply

    Actually, the ‘tire being returned’ story actually happened, but it happened to Home Depot, according to their official business biography which I read when I worked for the company. Apparently, a dude walked in with the tire, demanded his $250 back, and the head customer service guy for the company happened to be at that store that day, and as a point to everyone politely asked the guy how much he paid, and refunded him the money. Then he hung the tire up for everyone to remember how to deal with customers, no receipt no problem. Basically $250 for a great story he could tell for the next 20 years. But, recently even Home Depot has changed their tune on returns. Too many people were becoming professional scammers and living off the Home Depot dime. Now, no receipt, no cash, etc. But, the tire thing did happen.

  50. New Persuasion May 3, 2006 at 6:30 am - Reply

    Happy Birthday New Persuasion Blog

    Happy Birthday to us! Our New Persuasion blog is one year old today. This anniversary has caused us to look closely at this blog and where we are going. So we, The New Persuaders, have decided that since New Persuasion

  51. meryl's notes May 9, 2006 at 5:01 am - Reply

    Customer Service and Loyalty

    Guy Kawasaki discusses The Art of Customer Service. He offers ten tips for successful customer service. Unfortunately, all culture changes must have buy-in from the C-level executives and direct reports….

  52. Toyz Shop May 28, 2006 at 5:53 am - Reply

    WIRELESS TOYZ

    Customers want to shop the leader – a store that has a proven record with thousands of customers across the nation. Wireless Toyz represents almost every …

  53. Michael August 2, 2006 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    “You’re either part of the problem or part of the solution”.
    This is almost a truism, and, I suspect, like most truisms, it is rarely analysed. In reality it often leads to an argument about what the problem is long before the solution is even in sight. For some reason the United Nations comes to mind …
    In a customer service situation I think it is more helpful to alter it to “You’re either part of THEIR problem, or part of THEIR solution”
    In other words check their perception of the problem carefully first, and wherever possible jointly craft a solution based on that. It is only a little mind shift, and I know it may not always be possible, but as with so many things, it is the approach at the outset that counts in the end.

  54. Ken Guerrero November 8, 2006 at 11:19 am - Reply

    I think one thing that companies miss big time is the fact they need to listen to what the customer has to say.
    Listening serves several functions. The first is the company may actually learn something. The second thing that happens when the CSR acutally listens is the customers temperature goes down. The more they listen the lower the temperature.
    That is important because when customers are upset and tempers hot, they don’t tend to be rational. You can’t be rational and logical at the same time. So when someone is upset and “hot headed” the worst thing to do is to try to solve the problem then.
    Learn to listen to them talk. As they talk the temperature comes down. Once their temperature is cooler, they become more rational and open to listening to you.
    Listening is not to be confused with activity. Companies today are too quick to try to solve problems. Speed is expensive. Many times just listening to the customer and taking your time to solve the problem will lead to lower costs and higher levels of satisfaction.
    Learning to “listen with purpose” can do more to reduce customer service costs than just about anything a company can do.

  55. Poul Jones - Making Stories January 18, 2007 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    In other words check their perception of the problem carefully first, and wherever possible jointly craft a solution based on that. It is only a little mind shift, and I know it may not always be possible, but as with so many things, it is the approach at the outset that counts in the end.

  56. Gary Sherman July 23, 2007 at 12:16 pm - Reply

    A simple blog comment turns around a customer experience

    I’ve blogged in the past about turning blog entries into customer experiences . Here’s a recent real-world

  57. Ed November 30, 2007 at 4:14 am - Reply

    TRUE – Customer Service
    What is the absolute test of a truly customer focussed business?
    It’s when things go ‘wrong’ and, for whatever the reason, as buyers, we don’t get what we expect and we feel let down. That’s when we experience what customer service really means…
    On a daily basis, we come across three types of businesses which claim that customer service is paramount.
    The “OSTRICH” business
    You know these businesses – head in the sand. They don’t even want to know that you are dissatisfied. In fact, you are made to feel insignificant and worthless, and that you are being disruptive and difficult for feeling you haven’t received good service.
    In practice, their philosophy seems to be: “Don’t you know how lucky YOU are dealing with US????”
    The “TEFLON®” business
    Nothing sticks to these people. It’s always someone else’s fault and they can’t do anything about changing the situation. Quite often this is a thinly disguised tactic to get rid of you and not bother to investigate any shortcomings. Habitually, their complaints process is designed to protect them rather than to identify deficiencies and shortcomings in their delivery systems and people. Everything is done for them, not for the customer.
    The “SERVICE” business
    These businesses always deliver. And even on the rare occasions when delivery falls below your expectations, they freely apologise, and then actively engage you in the process of diagnosing where it went wrong, so they can improve their processes and systems. They simply will not accept ‘sub standard’ service delivery, and they will always do something about it.
    So, what can we do when we come across “Ostriches” and “Teflons®”? Firstly complain and complain again until you are satisfied. Keep complaining. Don’t accept being ‘fobbed off’. As a nation, we actively promote shoddy service by accepting it. Don’t. We can change it when we won’t accept it.
    And then vote with your feet. If you are not convinced that they have changed, take your business elsewhere. Between us, as buyers, we can take millions of pounds of business away from companies every single day. Let’s do it! Let’s take it to businesses which employ people who want to deal with customers like us and who know how to treat us.
    What makes me laugh is those businesses that have let you down will spend millions of pounds in advertising trying to get you back! All they had to do was get their staff to want to help when we bought and later when we first complained! How much would that have cost?
    And then, most importantly, tell you family and friends, neighbours and colleagues about your experiences. It’s much more compelling when we listen to the experiences of people close to us, rather than receiving mail shots, television adverts and those unwanted inserts in magazines!
    It is so much better learning from each other and saving ourselves the hassle of having to deal with businesses which deliver bad service.

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