“When’s the next train to Cardiff please?”
“It’s on the board. You need to look on the board.”
“Erm…can’t you just tell me please? I just need know when it’s…”
“It’s on the board. You need to look on there.”
A remarkably unhelpful conversation Ade had last week, courtesy of our new train operators here in South Wales.
Ade could’ve looked at the board. Of course he could. But at a ‘Travel Information’ desk, you kind of expect to get – well, travel information.
And as a paying customer, it’s experiences like this that leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
Overcrowded trains are never fun. He was heading back from a client meeting, pushed for time. And little things like this make the whole experience way more stressful than it needs to be.
But more than that – there’s a HUGE reminder here, for all us business owners.
Our rail operators here in South Wales changed before Christmas. It’s a £5billion franchise. The new operators, KeolisAmey, are (supposedly) spending £800m to replace all the trains. We’re being promised that our rail travel will be ‘transformed’ over the next 15 years.
You can tell. There’s shiny new marketing campaigns everywhere you look, inviting us to go with them on this new journey. This new way of travelling, together.
One rude woman makes a laughing stock of it all. One disengaged, unhelpful, front-of-house member of their team undermines the whole damn lot.
There’s one of two things going on here (and I’m not sure which is worse!).
a) This person has been told not to give specific information, but to direct passengers to check the board.
If this is the case, I guess it’s a cost-cutting drive. BUT they haven’t been trained; haven’t been given processes to follow; or aren’t being managed properly. So rather than helping their PAYING customers find the information they need, she’s rude, obstructive & trashing the customer relationship.
b) They have a major culture problem. She should in fact be giving the information Ade asked for – but is disengaged, fed up & has mentally checked out of her job. Completely.
Either way, it’s utterly sabotaging ALL their expensive marketing efforts.
Why does it matter?
Well – I know you don’t have anyone that rude in your business. Most of us aren’t running £5billion franchises. We’re closer to our team, closer to our clients & have better visibility with what’s going on at the front line of our business.
But as the business owner, we can’t be everywhere at once, all the time.
And it’s hard to maintain that high level of customer service your clients love, as you grow & get busier. It’s so easy for the little things to slip.
Are you 100% certain YOUR clients & prospects are getting the exact service you want? Every single time?
Are you 100% sure the person taking your calls is never distracted? Never inadvertently rude? Following your processes & procedures, every time? As helpful as they could possibly be?
Like I say, it’s TOUGH! But those little things stack up to clients feeling undervalued & a bit disgruntled.
(Not that they tell us that, of course! They just leave. And we’re left wondering why they’ve gone elsewhere.)
Stopping this from happening is a complex task. Creating an amazing culture & keeping staff both motivated & engaged is perhaps the hardest challenge we all face in business.
I’m not saying this is right for you – but it’s just to let you know! Because another option is always to let us handle your front-of-house customer service for you.
It’s all we do. And we love it. We’ve been Call Management experts for a long time (15 years-odd!) and we’re obsessed with customer service. Which is why stuff like the rude train lady grates SO much.
But when we handle your calls, you know your callers are getting an outstanding experience, every single time. The exact customer service YOU want for them. It’s a seamless process (they’ll never know it’s not your in-house team they’re chatting to). You get your messages instantly, by email or text. And it makes your day a whole lot less stressful, too.
Prices start from just £99 p/m, with no contract tying you in.
To test it out with a 2-week FREE Trial, just click here or call our Cardiff team now on 02920 695999.
Anyway! I hate travelling by train. Up until now, we’ve just gritted our teeth & got on with it.
But do you think we’ll now find ANY other damn way to get there? Instead of palming over our hard-earned cash to bloody KeolisAmey? You bet we will!
Until next time,