I picked up my friend Jamie at Newcastle; he’d just had a 3-hour train trip from London and commented that the service was getting worse.

The once brilliant Apple have dropped the ball three times (with me) over the last 12 months.

BT told me less than the truth, failed to fix a problem and mis-sold me a product.

But then on the flipside…

I’ve experienced great service from the staff on LNER (east coast trains) who made me feel valued and welcome.

Apple fixed a cracked iPhone screen in 50 minutes and gave me a few hints on new features.

And Ross, the BT engineer who came to do the work, was twenty times better than everyone I’d dealt with; spending hours fine-tuning my broadband as he discovered I was broadcasting a webinar later that day.

The question is – is customer service moving forwards or going backwards?

And while we’re pointing fingers (me included) how is your level of service, to your customers, internal and external?

Expectations have never been higher.  Are you stepping up?

I’m more determined than ever to help improve levels of service in every sector and in 2020 I’m going to double my efforts to achieve this.

So, who is providing brilliant service and who could be better? Leave your comments below and I’ll send a copy of my book ‘Five Star Service’ to my favourite.

Be Brilliant!


PS I’ve 4 seats left on my How To Save An Hour Every Day live webinar taking place tonight at 6pm.  Remember, because you’re on this list you can save 50% – just use the promocode ‘early’ when you book. All the details are here


  1. January 23rd 2020 by Carole Smith

    B&Q have been appalling – selling me a kitchen they could not supply and holding on to £446.50 of my money for 21 days. The staff in store and on the phone tried their best to help. Customer service were dismissive of my complaint offered me a £25 B&Q voucher even I have spent hours in store on the phone and traveling to and from the shop – so I have complained to the Financial Ombudsman. AO.com have been amazing. The delivery men walked muddy foot prints on my cream carpet, and even though I was able to clean it myself they put £30 into my bank account.

  2. January 23rd 2020 by DEE

    Usually the people who do the “call out” or the person you meet face to face, is the one who EXCELS and is such a good ambassador for the company they represent! I find it so often with phone calls & even retail BUT it often feels as though they’re not getting the back up or recognition FROM their employers. I try to do my bit by offering praise & gratitude to them personally (at the time, in feedback, survey or unprompted via an email) whilst highlighting the failings (in the nicest but firmest possible way) of the company or organisation! I know you do that as a policy too… let’s have a few more of us who optimistically take those extra minutes in an endeavour to seek change! DEE Diana Cosford xx

  3. January 23rd 2020 by Judy Mason

    I think it is going forwards. A new customer has just booked their first ever family holiday. They had not done so before as they not sure how their child with Autism would cope with new environments. Yesterday I spent a few extra hours writing a social story about this families holiday. I used an app to create and show every aspect of the trip. I included photos, quiz’s, personal recommendations, games and ideas for their trip. I have also contacted each hotel to ask them if they can provide the ‘one’ meal that their child will always eat. They all said YES!
    I am so impressed with the hotels and airlines. The Mum of the family cried when she received the story and the conformation that her child will be able to eat (happy face)

  4. January 23rd 2020 by Alan Rafferty

    My pet hates recently.

    Being told that the aircon gas in my car is low because it is not used enough and being told to leave it on all the time then 12 months later being told it is low because it has been used too much.

    Having to pay several £100 call out fees for my heating system only to be told there is nothing wrong when there patently is but if they were to admit it they would be liable for the cost of the fix.

    Being sold a tv package before black Friday only to find out that their black Friday package gave black Friday customers priority over me for installation.

    On the plus side the unknown guy who saw me struggling with two suitcases at Liverpool Street Station and picked one up for me without being asked.

    On the whole it is going backwards. It seems to be based on getting as much money out of the customer as possible for as little as possible.

  5. January 23rd 2020 by Michelle

    Definitely moving forward, historically my company wasn’t big on customer service being a utility this is changing we now have anonymous customer surveys to identify areas for improvement, we directly interview customers, we have a customer service forum and koi’s to monitor performance and have implemented a huge number of changes to process which put the end user at the forefront of what we do. A massive change in this indistry

  6. January 24th 2020 by Mark Sones

    I’m in Asda at the checkout when I realised that I had forgotten cocktail sticks.
    With people behind me and in a mild panic I asked the check out lady… where are your cocktail sticks.
    She inadvertently directed to the wrong isle.
    Having forlornly returned to my trolly, I was presented by the guy working on the adjacent check out frantically waving his arms about saying ‘we directed you to the wrong isle here’s your cocktail sticks.
    Customer service is one thing. Delivering outstanding customer service is entirely different.
    Most forward thinking businesses seek feed back and in this case I was happy to respond.

  7. January 27th 2020 by Lucy Kendall

    Just yesterday we had Sunday lunch at the Ridley Arms. I have been watching my weight and my lovely husband (well aware of my fear of the scales after yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes) asked at the bar if they did anything low fat. They said, although it wasnt on the menu, they could do me some grilled cod and vegetables. It was delicious. Unfortunaltey there was no English Mustard for my Mum (she was horrified) so we asked the landlady and she nipped upstairs to her flat above the pub abnd brought us some of hers. All in all a great customer experience,

  8. February 5th 2020 by William Martin

    You’re not mistaken – things ARE going backwards. Generally, in the name of “cost control”, companies are hiring less experienced (and therefore cheaper) staff who have to follow procedures ill-suited to purpose.

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