Here’s something that just happened to me, which I think is a branding opportunity gone amiss, and only somewhat recovered. I am doing home renovations and have to have 2 sensors of the home alarm disconnected, and booked a technician for today (the last day before work starts). I’m waiting and no technician arrives, so I phone the alarm company. I explain the situation.
Alarm: I rang and left a message saying the tech couldn’t come today….
Me: Where did you call?
Alarm: Your home phone.
Me: I wasn’t at home – don’t you have my mobile number?
Alarm: Yes but I left a message on your home phone.
Me: OK never mind that, what do I do with my problem?
Alarm: I’ll put you through to the Service Manager.
Manager: How can I help you.
Me: Explain situation.
Manager: Sorry Sir, one of our techs had a personal tragedy and I had to rescehdule all our calls.
Me: Sorry about that and while, as a human being I’m sorry for him but as a customer who needs something and hopes you have backup, what do I do with the alarms to disconnect?
Manager: Well you can cut the wires but you need to…(techno speak).
Me: Hmmm, I don’t feel confident to do that.
Manager: Well you can wait until the tech gets there.
Me: Yes, but as explained work starts tomorrow at 7am.
Manager: I’m sorry sir but you can appreciate I had to juggle all the jobs.
Me: Yes, but aren’t they moved around by priority? I’m annoyed because when I booked I made sure I pointed out this was the last day due to demolition.
Manager: Well we don’t order jobs by priority or else someone else will be in the same boat as you.
Me: Is anyone else having demolition tomorrow?
Manager: I don’t know.
Me: Aha, then if the notes show I was, then would I not be in priority?
Manager: We don’t do it that way.
(Several more exchanges similar)
Me: What about tonight, can a tech come out tonight?
Manager: Oh yes but you’ll have to pay $300 instead of $150.
Me: I have no choice?
Manager: That’s right.
Me: Let’s do it.
Manager: OK I’ll book one in for after 5pm. Oh look, I won’t charge you the penalty rate.
OK, who thinks:-
1. Their systems are NOT focused on customer service?
2. Why was I the one who thought of an after-hours solution?
3. Why was the reduction in price (to satisfy an increasingly agitated customer) done at the last minute as an aside?
Their handling of this could have been an ideal brand marketing opportunity (going over and above the call of duty) but because of the “not my fault” conversation the save at the end hardly constituted excellent customer service.
What do you think?