Are You Irritating Customers?

In mid-June my wife called her bank’s credit card services. The credit card was about to expire and the replacement had failed to arrive. We were about to leave on holidays for two weeks and she wanted to see if she could get the replacement before we set off. She waited impatiently on hold for 15 minutes before getting to talk to a human being. During that 15 minutes was she told where she was in the queue? No. Was she told what the typical expected hold-time was? No. She just got to listen over and over again to a cheap recording of boring music – interspersed with irritating and useless apologies for being kept waiting.

When she did eventually get to talk to someone she happened to mention the fact that she had been waiting for 15 minutes. And guess what the customer service representative said in reply? “Ah 15 isn’t bad – sure it can sometimes be 30 or 40!” Incredible? I suspect many of you actually have similar stories to tell. I hear far more complaints than compliments about the customer service that my friends and family experience.

But what about the customer satisfaction you deliver in your own business? Have you asked your customers whether they’re ever irritated and, if so, by what? Do you know what they want you to change? To do differently? To stop doing? And if you do know these answers – are you acting on them? Knowing but not acting is no better than not knowing. It may even be worse if your customers know you’ve asked them and then they fail to see any result. So go on – leave your fear and ego aside and hold up that mirror to your own business. You have the chance to improve what you do and how you do it. And how do you think that might affect your bottom line? Get in touch if you want to explore this further – I’d be glad to help you.

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