Blog | Angela Gifford

The similarities between providing a care service and a trip to the USA

Good customer service translates as giving a service to a customer which the customer is happy with and believes is value for money.

Currently in the US I flew from the UK on an Upper Class Ticket. At the book in desk, (no queue) a problem, not of my making, led to me being asked to busy myself, or words to that effect, for half an hour taking my suitcase with me, then to come back and book in.

Entitled to go to the exclusive security check was not a plus, I would have got through the ‘ordinary’ security lanes quicker.

At the boarding gate departure lounge, no seats available. Once on board, the ordered drink did not arrive.

At the pick-up point for the car, paid for in advance, documentation correct, mix up with another customer of the same name. 30 minute stand around.

Arrive at the hotel, computer system down, unable to be booked into hotel room.

Eventually after 22 hours awake get to sleep only to be woken by 3.00am room smoke alarm going off. After 8/9 minutes maintenance man comes to take alarm off the wall.

Apologies are good but the problems are not mine but the organisations to whom I have paid to provide me with services. This leaves me with a negative view of the airline, the car hire firm and the hotel chain* and will influence my future purchases. I will tell of my experiences to others which may influence their purchasing choices.

Working practices, front line staff having appropriate customer service training, efficient administration, could all have avoided the problems that were transferred to me.

Buying a care service can be a similar experience for thousands of people and their families when their care provider’s problems are passed on to their customers.

However, it is how you handle the problems that will influence whether your organisation comes out of it in a negative or positive manner.

The airline booking desk could have offered to take my case, offer a complimentary coffee, the car hire firm could have offered a seat or again a coffee, the hotel could have offered at 10.00pm a sandwich or a coffee whilst I waited and the maintenance man could have arrived much sooner.

Offering care in a competitive, purchasing world and being thought of in a positive manner will hinge on how you avoid and cope with your operating problems. Practices have to be in place ‘in house’ to make sure that customer service and how your organisation presents itself to the world is above reproach.

Regular listening audits, customer feedback, reviews of frontline working policies are some of the strategies that if put in place can eliminate your customers and potential customers having the impression that your organisation is less professional than your competitors. Surely a reputation to avoid.

*Vouchers for three free breakfasts have now been provided!

By:  Angela E Gifford
Posted:  9 Oct 2015

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