Customer service, flexibility and common sense

dishwasher disassembly for repair/replacement ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Customer service is a hobby-horse of mine, but in a small business or any business, it should have top priority. We can only meet the customer’s needs by being flexible and adopting an understanding approach to give them what they need.

My office is normally “closed” at weekends. Yes, I do run my businesses from home, but I do think that my wife and I need some privacy and personal time. However, I do appreciate that my clients are busy, so by pre-arrangement I will visit clients on a Saturday or have them come to me. It is only fair and makes sure that I am properly accessible.

Normal businesses who see customers or clients other than in retail premises make appointments in advance. Having an appointment means meeting at a certain time, doesn’t it? Well, I always thought so.

Uncaring large business

This brings me to the tale of our dishwasher breaking down, although unfortunately it is a typical story of a business being run for the convenience of its management and employees rather than its customers.

Our dishwasher repair man came on a Tuesday and we had a two hour slot at home which suited us. This was arranged through one of those domestic insurance companies where you pay for an extended guarantee. This arrangement may well be where we went wrong.

Unfortunately when he came the first time the guy did not have the parts to do the repair so said that another appointment would be made. I was sent a text to say when the new appointment would be, but unfortunately it was at a time when neither my wife nor I could be at home. There was a number to telephone on our guarantee documentation. We called, but every time we pressed the first button after getting through we got cut off. We had to give up.

Repair man put a card though the door when he called and we were out. Eventually the switchboard did work and we were give another appointment, again on the basis that was when he would call, and if we were not there again that was our hard luck. Fortunately, over two weeks without a working dishwasher, it did get repaired.

I had tried during the two weeks this nonsense went on to engage the company on Twitter. All I got was an apology but no action speeding up the repair process.

Suit yourselves!

The dishwasher company is not interested in customer service. All they are doing is running their business to suit themselves. It is a sure-fire way to get rid of their customers anyway as we will probably vote with our feet and find some other way of securing our dishwasher’s good state of repair.

Many of the very large companies are examples of how not to do business, but even small businesses sometimes forget how to treat people well, like the plumber who has been promising my parents for weeks that he will repair their hot water cylinder, but has yet to get around to doing it.

Running our businesses is for our financial benefit, but we only get that benefit if we help our customers get what they want, and at a time when they want it.

What do you think?

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