When John Lewis and Apple are screwing up, you know there’s something wrong.
Apple have lost all of Mrs Hep’s calendar data (that’s why you didn’t receive a birthday card) and after 4 weeks, they can ‘see it’ but appear to be no closer to restoring it.
John Lewis screwed up an order 3 times before a ‘Customer Service Partner’ was exceptionally rude (I really do hope they record all calls) and caused a very rare hang up.
I appreciate that when it comes to customer service I’m in a privileged position; and I would never play the ‘Do you know who I am‘ card.
So, I took a step back from the individual situations and asked, ‘What the heck is happening?’
And I think I’ve got it.
Apple, John Lewis, etc. are trying their best. I really do believe they want to provide brilliant customer service.
It’s their process that gets in the way.
And more specifically, the complexity of the process.
There’s just too much that can go wrong – and so it does.
It’s happening everywhere.
Last week I presented in a hotel; they had a real desire to provide 5 Star service.
This manifested itself in them insisting that a member of staff personally poured all the teas and coffees during a 15-minute break.
A very sweet girl did her best but with 175 people attending – and an average of 15 seconds per pour – you can see the problem.
The more complexity, the more that can go wrong. The more that can go wrong, the more withdrawals are taken from a customer’s emotional bank account.
Simplification. Simplification. Simplification
What can you simplify?
If you strip back and refocus on your core, it’s easier to provide great service.
Complication leads to complaints.
Simplicity leads to service.