Service Excellence

No-hassle Customer Service

It is so refreshing when service organisations offer no-hassle customer service. I recently ordered and paid for a three piece KFC combo from the store in Grand Anse in the south of Grenada. When I nearly reached home and looked in the box, I noticed that there were only two pieces in the box. I immediately sent an email with photos of the evidence.

After a few emails and a follow up telephone call, I got a return call from one of the company’s representatives. There was no discussion about why I did not carry back the box when I realized the error. Instead, there was the immediate offer of more chicken. I had recently started a (nother!) diet and when I mentioned this, the rep. quickly suggested a Subway salad instead.

I was really really pleased and of course I will think about patronizing this company again. Well done!

Handling an irate passenger

Airplane

Recently  I was on a flight in the Caribbean and witnessed an incident involving a non-Caribbean family and a Flight Attendant. I observed how it was handled and will share some pointers on what could have been done differently to ensure the situation did not escalate. 

The passenger boarded at the rear of the plane with his family, which included small children. My attention was called to them when I heard the passenger shout “how many times do I have to show them? I just showed the man down there!!”

Apparently, he was irate at having to again show his boarding pass, which he had already shown the airport security personnel at the bottom of the stairs. The Flight Attendant’s voice became somewhat raised as she asked the gentleman again for the passes, which had the seat assignments on them. During this time, other passengers were waiting to board and  some of those already on board were waiting to use the washroom. The incident continued for what I would consider longer than acceptable. 

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Responsiveness

One of the five dimensions of the SERVQUAL model of Service Quality is Responsiveness. The usual explanation of this dimension is “the willingness to help customers and to provide prompt service,” suggesting that it is applicable to a real time service experience. After an incident at the supermarket one day, I chose to test their degree of Responsiveness over 24 hours.

At the cashier check out station near to closing time, she tried every code she could and none worked for the Sunflower Seeds I had picked up. She left the station, went to look at other packs, spoke with another employee, then came back and apologized, saying she could not sell it because the code was not in the machine.

I had to go back into that supermarket the next day, so decided to test their responsiveness by picking up the Sunflower Seeds again. Success! I was a happy customer. 

Imagine if the cashier on the first night had passed on the issue, and the responsible person did not take action. Of if the cashier did not pass on the problem at all. The customer would have noticed it. The challenge of leaders is to let each employee see how their action directly impacts on service. On this occasion, there was a positive outcome. When I next see her, I will definitely congratulate her on the action she took. 

What are you doing to ensure that your employees are responsive?

Another good Customer Service experience

I like to recognize when companies give service. Have you ever tasted Walkerswood products? They are divine! I used to buy another brand of Jerk Seasoning until a friend said “Walkerswood is the best” and she was right. Their Solomon Gundy has the best consistency I have tasted. Imagine my anxiety when on my last trip to Jamaica, there was none available in any of the supermarkets I had tried….and I had been to several.

Delicious Herring Paste

Delicious Herring Paste

Company websites are famous for having  ‘Contact Us’ being unmanned. I sent a message anyway.  Did I sound desperate enough?

Good day,
I just called your office to say I have been to 4 supermarkets this week. Losushans,  Welcome, Sovereign and Superplus.  Is there a problem with the supply? None anywhete.  I am leaving the island on Monday and would love to get some without having to come to Beechwood Avenue.

This was sent 3 days before my departure. I was not hopeful. And then, within 17 minutes, my email notification went off that Sean Garbutt had sent me an email.

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