Some of last week’s less positive stories look like they could turn into long-running sagas, but there’s still some good ones amongst the purveyors of low-level annoyance – including a cautionary tale from the school of rock on how I let my own ‘customers’ down…
Man in the mirror
Having finally had quotes from a couple of repair shops for my busted wing mirror I am still faced with a hefty bill so I have had to make a decision about whether it might be better to make a claim on the insurance. This involves some fairly straightforward maths: if the cost of the repair is greater than the impact of losing my no claims discount plus the excess I would have to pay anyway, then make a claim. So I rang my insurers to talk this through.
Here’s the good news: Bell continue to delight me every time I contact them. Connor, the advisor I spoke to was pleasant to deal with and took me through the process of registering the incident without it seeming like to much of a hassle. I’d flagged with him that I was unsure whether to make a claim or not, which was fine, but – and here’s the bad news – he couldn’t fill in or verify the numbers for me so I’ve had to fall back on my own assumptions about next year’s premium to make a decision. Thinking about it, it’s unlikely that Bell would have been able to help with this without several caveats and, if they’d got it wrong, could be exposing themselves to a future complaint – but I’m still left with an OK customer experience rather than an excellent one.
So it’s happened: the move from Streetlife to Nextdoor has taken place, Streetlife is no more and those that made the jump are having polite interactions with their neighbours about all the usual topics – recommendations for local services and so forth – on the new local networking platform in much the same way as the old one.
All well and good but over a week on from the response to my request to remove my ‘local lead’ status it still hasn’t happened, so I’ve had to send a request via their website to chivvy them along. An auto-response states they will respond ‘usually within 24-48 hours’ and ‘We appreciate your patience and look forward to working with you’ (not sure what work I am doing with them – have we just formed a team?) – the clock has started…
Runners need responses
And in another potentially long-running (or in my case not running) saga, Runnersneed were recipients of an email providing some feedback on my experience in their store. So far no response so I’ll have to chivvy them now as well.
A quick re-read of the email and I find a Contact Us link at the bottom. I click on the link and see this:
As far as I have concerned, I have communicated so I enter my email address but:
So I now have to dig around looking for a way to follow up with Runnersneed/Snow+Rock/mysterious-recluse-who-runs-customer-feedback and I think the lesson here is pretty obvious: the longer it takes to respond, the lower the likelihood of me recommending the store to anyone…
Living in a box
Sometimes it’s possible to miss a good customer experience because it’s so straightforward you forget it’s happened. We’ve been renting a storage unit with Big Yellow for a while and, having recently found homes for a couple of sofas, needed to downsize. It took just one phone call to agree the price for the new room and a bit of paperwork on the morning of the move. Somehow – a bit like Bell – I was expecting the whole thing to be a lot more hassle and involve additional expense but no, the new price simply took effect from the new date. However, a property lawyer friend tells me that on a per square foot basis it would be cheaper to rent office space in the City of London…
Singing from the same hymn sheet
I’ve previously mentioned that I sing in a local community choir. It’s a non-auditioned group that meets every Monday and it’s a lot of fun. I’ve been applying my meagre musical talents to an arrangement of the Guns ‘n Roses classic Sweet Child O’ Mine, despite having never arranged anything for a choir before. It’s been something of a voyage of discovery – mainly discovering how much there is to learn about how to arrange songs so that people can actually sing them. Without going too much into the technicalities it’s fair to say that somewhere along the way I may have lost sight of the number one principle in arranging, customer service, life or whatever: Keep It Simple Stupid! The choir learns all tunes by ear so it helps if your arrangement gives them notes that they can easily pick up – from other vocal lines or the accompaniment – and my desire to give G&R’s lovelorn epic a jazzy makeover inadvertently provided challenging moments that required a squad of singing professionals with perfect pitch.
A serious bit of re-writing has now taken place and a lesson learned: understand where your customers are, start simple and add only add complexity/sophistication as and when they are ready for it.