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Mind the gap

Mind the gap_Conscient

I recently had a problem with some website hosting and needed to call the company’s technical support team for assistance. This was a premium service from a reputable vendor, so my expectations were high before making the call. The company was clearly experiencing a significant outage and having run customer support before, I understand how that can put pressure on teams providing customer care.

I’m not shaming the company concerned, but on that day, the customer support I received was extremely poor.

Let’s face it, today’s customer service has become increasingly impersonal as large organisations strive for greater efficiency in their support teams. But the fact remains, when things go wrong you often can’t get hold of anyone to talk to and when you finally do, the person seems to be only capable of verifying your credentials.

We have worked with some of our clients to promote their omni-channel service offerings, so I thought I’d try that too while I was waiting, I signed up for WhatsApp access and engaged with an online web-bot as well. This only resulted in me waiting on three different channels!

For me, the last straw was the cheery message I received every 5 minutes on my now hour-long phone call, telling me that “we appreciate your business and can’t wait to exceed your expectations” I didn’t believe the former and they had no chance with the latter.

Nobody sets out to deliver poor customer service, however, over time the gap between the aspiration and reality can widen. The trick is to ensure that the service that you market is actually what your customers experience.

Nigel Stevens, CEO

At my company Conscient, we help our clients with messages for their customers about products and services. We find that they sometimes want to oversell a proposition, but one thing we always stress is to tell the truth. Now, I don’t mean like in the rather brilliant movie Crazy People, starring Dudley Moore and Daryl Hannah, where they design a series of “truthful” advertisements such as “Buy Volvos. They’re boxy but they’re good”. What I’m talking about is to play to your strengths, be honest, be positive but as soon as you feel like you are making it up, stop and go back to what you know to be right.

Your customers will thank you for it and if you can consistently exceed their expectations, tell them that as well!

Nigel Stevens, CEO


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