Customer Experience versus Customer Service (4 of 5)

I have got an issue with the word “sorry”. Often, service providers find it appropriate to apologise for their shortcomings or the disappointment of not meeting the expectations of clients. Often these expectations are created by the service providers through campaigns, other public relations initiatives and often, their own excellence at some point.

Now as a customer, it is fine and well to receive an apology for not getting my money’s worth and as a customer, this is what I expect from basic customer service standards.

My issue with this concept of sorry is that often service providers see it as sufficient enough, just to say sorry. There is no value in your service if no solution can be provided, just as is the case for exceptional circumstances.

All I ask myself is; “what must happen now?” And often, it is of no help to the situation. Corporate tend to be limited by protocol and policies that curb risk, irregularities and even improve efficiency, but there is no point for all these provisions if it inconvenience’s the customer.

For example, one bank has online banking to ease provision of services to its customers, but insists that complaints be made at one of its branches… In the day and age of social media and rapid technology I am baffled by this.

An industry peer to the same bank responds at least 4 working days after raising a query through online banking. Even worse, is the need for a client to head to a branch to authorise an investigation of fraudulent activity, leaving further funds to be stolen whilst service officers are fighting the client over processes… Where does innovation come here?

Value today, is entrenched in convenience, access and simplicity. These are the needs that Customer Experience addresses, over and above the norm with consideration of the human factor. If the Global Competitiveness Report is anything to go by, Botswana still has quite a long way to go.

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