Failure To Communicate

August 7, 2008

We all have heard the stories with large organizations that leave customers pissed off, the voice mail jail, 2 hours on the phone with no resolution, Or in this example by Kyle Claypool, an airline leaves you on the ground. The list goes on.

In the SMB space however, what is our excuse for this?

Both my Wife and myself are both a little ticked off at small businesses in our area. We are both disatisfied with the service we have received and you can bet we are letting people know about it.

Communication People!!!

In both these cases – it simply that these business; (to steal from the film Cool Hand Luke) “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

In my case, my car is in getting repaired. (it is in the shop more than out – but that is another story) This dealer does not provide a “loaner” car – so I have to rent a car for the day. It ended up being three days – and only afterwards (after several phone calls) that I found that 2 of the days it sat there waiting for a part.

Excuse me??? – could someone not have communicated that it was stuck waiting for a minor part?? I would gladly have taken it back for two days, saved the money I was paying the rental company and made another appointment for when the part arrived.

In my Wifes case, she had to make multiple calls over a about 3 week period to a legal firm she is dealing with, to find out that no information or response to the issue had been made yet.

Umm, could no one let us know? (the cynical part of me guesses that with legal retainers, they figure it is better for her to call 4 times at the minimum bill rate then the firm call once at the minimum bill rate)

As Kyle states in the above referenced post, your customers time is worth something. It is worth something to them, and it should be worth something to you.

Because if their time is worth zero to you, it may be worth something to your competitor.

It Ain’t Tech either

As a business Technology Manager, I could tell you that that there are great and expensive technology solutions for you, but that is B.S. It is people, and process. If Part = “Back Order” then “Call Customer”

It could be done on a stick-it note.


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