You Twit!

Happy New Year to everyone in Enterprise Britain… may 2010 deliver the change we all want.

Regular readers of my Training Blogs may have noticed a recent trend towards customer service issues.

You’ll be pleased to know (or not, as the case may be) that 2010 is kicking off in a similar vein, although this time the worm has turned and, for once, customer service providers are on the receiving end.

Now, we used to say in our training that if a customer receives absolutely fabulous service they will tell, on average, 8 other people. If the service is terrible that figure, we used to say, rises to 16 others.

The idea behind these figures is that bad news travels fast and it’s important to get service right otherwise it’s pretty easy to develop a bad reputation.

However, we’ve had to change our figures somewhat… here’s why:

A friend of mine was recently sitting in a restaurant when he saw something awful happening in terms of customer service. In fact, it was so terrible he wouldn’t tell me what it was!

But what happened next is nothing short of brilliant.

The person who was being abused by the waiter filmed what was happening to him on his ‘phone. He then immediately uploaded the video clip to YouTube. Then (and this is the coup de grace) he Tweeted (again from his ‘phone) to all his followers about the experience and pointed them to the video clip.

Over the next 3 days, the clip became famous and was viewed 116,713 times.

I have to say, I’m not a technophobe, I can even follow what my 12 year old daughter is talking about for at least 4 minutes. But the scenario I’ve just described blows me away. Not as a technical exercise, I kind of knew it was possible.

No, for me the ramifications are huge when we think through the consequences on a business of one person screwing it up, or even a disgruntled customer being a git… or even a competitor being underhand!

The restaurant in the story is out of business. But how do we know the waiter who got it so badly wrong wasn’t new, was about to get fired, had had a bad day..?

It no longer matters. Customer service has to be right from every angle, every day, which is a good thing. Every business must make sure the team knows what’s expected of them and knows how to deliver quality service… otherwise there could be no business very fast.

And, to make matters worse, we have to change our training programme:

‘If someone receives outstanding service they will tell, on average 8 others. If, however, they received poor service they will tell 116713… immediately!’

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