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3rd January 2013
The first 2013 guest blogger on here is sales guru Mr Gary Gorman. Here he writes about a recent customer service, or rather “customer no service” experience. Does this sort of thing happen to you too?
Not exactly bowled over by customer service!
How difficult can it be to give a business your money? Surely in the current economic climate they should be bending over backwards to take money from our pockets. Well….maybe not. Certainly if our experience of trying to book a local tenpin bowling alley is anything to go by. Let me explain…
Over the recent Christmas period we had my wife’s family over for a bite to eat. Eleven of us in total, including my two children and their cousin. A couple of days beforehand my wife had the idea that we could maybe work off a bit of the ‘excess baggage’ we’d somehow managed to acquire over the festive period (oops…how did that happen??) by booking a bowling session at the local alley. Great idea! So off she went searching for their number in the local phone book…with no success. Next came the Yellow Pages….again to no avail. Not exactly a great start. In the meantime I googled them and found that, rather than it being the standard local number we’d expected, we had to call an 0871 number costing 10p per minute or, alternatively, book online. Being a man I took the online option (funny how we often avoid using the phone isn’t it?).
This proved more difficult than it needed to be trying to make sense of the various permutations of people/lanes/time/games so again we reverted back to plan A of calling them. I’m sure many people would have given up by now….but no….we Gorman’s are made of strong stuff. So my wife called the 0871 number.
…..To be told ‘Thank you for your call. To make a booking…press one’. She pressed ‘one’
…..To be told ‘Thank you for your call. You are in a queue and your call will be answered in approximately…….(pause) FIVE minutes’
FIVE MINUTES to book a few bowling lanes at an alley a couple of miles away!!
At this point I was thinking it might have been quicker to drive there and book in person thanking them for kindly relieving me of the best part of £65.
Anyway, eventually my wife got through to admittedly a reasonably helpful person who, after going through the various options, offered us a family rate deal for the eight adults and three children. But to do that we did need to pay a booking fee of £1.95 to make a booking (hey….how does that work??) So…after about ten minutes at 10p per minute and a further £1.95 down…we were booked. Phew!
We turned up at the agreed time to find somehow we had been booked in as children. Again I wondered how could a family consist just of children? Whilst the staff at the local alley were happy to honour the price agreed (that was good of them!) we could only have the one game at that price. Which is what we thought we had booked for in the first place anyway.
We played our game and had lots of fun.
Whilst we were playing I couldn’t help notice the ‘tweet us your best score’ and the ‘like our Facebook page’ signage and the ‘how did we do? Let us have your feedback’ survey link with a slight chuckle. So it would appear that customer engagement and satisfaction is of interest to them (or, the cynical side of me, says they are just paying lip service to it) but how difficult does it need to be to give a business your custom and your money?? I’m afraid had it been me and not my wife arranging it I would have waved the white flag and given up.
Next Christmas may consist of a bracing walk instead.
©Gary Gorman 2013
Gary Gorman is a leading sales mentor, trainer and business speaker. He helps businesses grow sales and increase profits. He is the author of two highly rated books: ‘The 30 Day Sales Challenge’ and ‘Inside The Entrepreneur’s Mind’. For more information on how Gary could help your business grow visit www.GaryGorman.co.uk or call him on 01476 516282
Tags: Customer Service