The Buck Stops Here.

Thursday 21st April 2016

From time to time, I get a reminder of what good customer service is all about and I reflect on this and how the experience can be used in our business.

My recent experience (and sadly it is on-going) is with the business arm of British Telecommunications Plc (BT). We needed additional phone lines installing and these were requested to be part of a hunt group. So far so simple! However BT (and they have admitted this to me) messed up our order, and so we ended up with new lines (but not the right type) and therefore not part of a hunt group.

Now anyone can make a simple mistake, and the correction of BTís mistake should be (I thought) a simple matter. Simply re-issue the correct works order and amend the lines, installing the hunt group. However BT apparently does not do simple. In the last week, I have spoken to nearly 10 different people (all pleasant and helpful) in many different offices around the world. I have spent over 5 hours on the phone talking to these people and I have also tried webchat.

It took the 10 phone calls to establish that I needed to speak to the original Sales office. I have now done so, and so far all that has happened is that an email has been sent (by BT to BT) requesting that the original Sale personís manager replies to my complaint and resolves this. They have 48 hours to do this or the email gets passed to their manager who has another 48 hours to respond, or it is passed to their manager who has another 48 hours and so onÖ you get the picture!

In the meantime, the customer, me, is left hanging with no communications from BT and no idea at all of when (or if) we shall receive our original order.

So this leads me to reflect on good Customer Service and how we can use this experience to improve our offering. I can give you one very good reason why we can always do better than this; whoever you speak to in our office will either have the authority to directly resolve any issues, queries or concerns or you will be passed to someone that can. Same phone call/email passed directly to people that can act. If exceptionally this canít happen, you will be called back ASAP. I appreciate that a large multinational organisation canít act in this way, but they should be able to do better than this perpetual buck passing!

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