It’s been a good week for my own experiences as a customer covering everything from pubs to running, although not at the same time. Let’s start with the running…
Runner’s needs met?
Lately I’ve been dogged by a pain in my heel, most noticeable when running and I think I can attribute it to some otherwise super-comfortable running shoes I bought from Runnersneed last year. A brief internet search just now – which I normally avoid because of the risk of early-onset hypochondria – reveals it’s likely I have achilles tendinopathy, but without this knowledge I dropped into my local store to see if their gait analysis service would pick anything up. Unfortunately I wasn’t offered a re-run on their treadmill and the assistant seemed a little foxed by this query. I also asked if there were any heel supports that might help but she appeared ignorant of this until finding some on the rack, which I bought.
I later received an e-receipt with an opportunity to rate my experience. Over-surveying customers is something I’ll post on soon but this rating was disappointingly curt: a very satisfied/satisfied/dissatisfied scale for ‘outdoor footwear’ and ’till experience’. Not only did this not reflect my in store experience or purchase but it didn’t give me any opportunity to provide further feedback other than direct me to the till receipt. I found an email address on the receipt – being untidy and not throwing stuff away has its advantages – and have sent feedback to the company. Their feedback is awaited…
Pubs and parents
My wife teaches NCT antenatal classes in our local area and can find herself in all kinds of venues from nurseries to churches to pubs. I dropped her off at The Alma – which, like many boozers in this neck of the woods, has traded upmarket for a few years. Staff at The Alma were extremely helpful, making sure she had everything she needed for the group, which makes me think they would look after their guests well: a good way to win customers.
Damn fine coffee
I then nipped into a nearby Costa for a coffee. It was early on Sunday morning so very quiet but the till assistant was concentrating on something on the till and didn’t immediately notice me waiting there. After a short while she looked up and apologised for not having noticed me. ‘Oh that’s OK, it looked to me like there was something important on your till’ I said. ‘Oh’ she said ‘nothing’s more important than the customer’.
Put down like that it seems a rather off hand use of a management cliché but it was said in a genuine way. Clearly Costa’s motivational approach shown in last year’s ad campaign is less tongue-in-cheek than I had thought.
This little exchange turned an average experience into a great one and when my wife had finished her class we returned there for some lunch. Delivering moments of joy to customers leads to more business.
Life’s a gas
A quick mention for the British Gas engineer who called 15 minutes ahead of an appointment. When your appointment window is six hours it really helps to get an idea of when the appointment will take place. I spoke to the engineer about this – when I worked at BT, engineers couldn’t call ahead in this way (I believe they can now) – and he mentioned that it was a bit of a nuisance as they couldn’t do it while driving. Good to know that they take road safety seriously…
Back to the street
The migration from Streetlife to Nextdoor continues to provide some lessons in customer experience. I now get a digest of the interactions on Nextdoor by email and the other day the top story on the email header was ‘This site really disappoints’. To be honest I am not sure it’s that disappointing although it is definitely not a carbon copy of Streetlife: its approach to sharing and privacy is different and the areas you can interact with are much smaller, which seems to be most people’s beef.
I had an extensive response to my initial feedback on the migration and Nextdoor now gives Streetlife users a chance to adjust their privacy settings before completing migration. Good to see that they’re listening and acting on feedback. It will be even better if they can fulfil my request to remove the ‘local lead’ status that I acquired without asking. Meanwhile the users of the new site are starting to exchange helpful info so it looks as if Streetlife founder Mathew Boyes’ mission to bring neighbours closer together (reiterated in an email to Streetlife customers this week) may still be achieved.