I return to one of my pet subjects – customer care!!
Real stories best illustrate my frustration with what I see as poor customer care.
A few months ago I needed some photocopying done and it was more cost effective for me to get the copying done at a small local shop that offers copying services than to use my own small home copier.
I wanted 30 copies of a six page document that I use as a workbook for a course I run on Team Development - a total of 180 pages. The shop manager asked me to come back in 20 minutes. When I returned he handed me 180 workbooks of 6 pages and a very large bill.
I explained that I only asked for 30 copies of the workbook not 180 copies and when he consulted his notes he discovered it was his mistake and apologised.
He gave me 30 copies of the workbook and I paid for them.
I suddenly thought I could use the ‘wasted’ copies in future courses so I said to the man that I would take them off his hands as they could, after all, only be used by me. He told me that I could take them as long as I paid for them. I said I did not want to pay for them because I actually only wanted 30 copies at present. I asked what he would now do with the 150 copies of the workbook that he now had on his hands. He said he would shred them in accordance with the policy. I said that seems such a shame and I would happily take them off his hands. He said I could only take them if I paid for them. We batted this discussion back and forth for a while and I left knowing that he was going to shred 900 sheets of A4 paper that I could have used.
With hindsight I could have made an offer to pay a reduced amount for the workbooks.
My point however about customer 'care' is that this jobsworth person was sticking to his procedure come what may and he was not going to budge - to coin a phrase 'The man was not for turning!'
His ‘policy’ said ‘shred wasted paper’ and that was his only position.
I would like to think if it had been me I would have said 'Sod the rules' and recognised it was actually crazy to shred 900 pieces of paper that would have been useful to a customer.
But then I always do see things far too simply.
I would be saying good things about that shop if they had said something like ‘Oh just take them – they are no good to us or anyone else and if you can use them that’s great’
Instead I see that shop as one which has crazy unfriendly customer practices and of course I tell people about it - is that good for their customer care reputation?
I just do not get it!