Sorry for shouting, lovely people. But this is my customer service slash LIFE mantra and I have to share it with you vigorously. Basically, people are less about GOOD outcomes and BAD outcomes, but about BETTER than expected outcomes or WORSE than expected outcomes. Manage peoples’ expectations and you are something like 90% of the way to being awesome.*
SOME RECENT EXAMPLES from my life:
O2 gave me some home phone and some broadband. They quoted more on the phone than they did on the website UH-OH!! The actual price isn’t relevant – it was still fine, and I was still willing to pay it – but it always SEEMS high when it is more than expected. They could justify WHY it was different, but it still appears to me they could be much clearer on their website and not leave a wee sour taste in their customers’ mouths. THEN they told me that my “start date” for broadband would be the 24th; the start date for my home phone the 23rd. Imagine my happiness when I get little emails and texts today, the 22nd, saying “We have connected you early!” My feeling is: they probably knew all along that they were being over-cautious in their deadlining. But it has resulted in a very POSITIVE feeling replacing the neutral feeling I would otherwise have had! Well done O2, clever people.
A BAD experience has been with my letting agents, Let-It. I won’t go in to the boring details but suffice to say that:
1. Adding charges as you go along is ALWAYS to be avoided. Be upfront. Where possible, don’t charge people ridiculous amounts for simple tasks!! And you ought to be able to explain charges.
2. If you say you will REMOVE a charge as a “goodwill gesture”, do not later reinstate it. That is, then, a retraction of goodwill. There is now no goodwill between us. Awkward…
Again, doing this means you have modified your customers expectations in a (positive) way, and taking it back is doing more damage than simply never promising in the first place.
DON’T MAKE PROMISES YOU CAN’T KEEP! Always give yourself room to manoeuvre!
*Totally meaningless statistic. But you get my drift.