An Example of Great Customer Service

With both the FIFA World Cup and the Commonwealth Games taking place this summer there was, and continues to be, great opportunities for sports heroes to show the world and especially younger generations what sportsmanship should be about.

As I was thinking about this, an article came to mind that I’d read last year. It was a story about Spanish athlete Ivan Fernadez Anaya who did the right thing and came second in a race when he could have won.

At a cross-country race in Berlada, the race leader was Kenyan Abel Mutai. For some reason, Mutai stopped 10m before the finish line, thinking he’d crossed it. While the crowds shouted for him to continue running, Mutai didn’t understand Spanish. Anaya soon caught up to Mutai but, instead of passing him to finish first, he tapped Mutai on the shoulder and directed him to the finish line. All the while Anaya stayed behind Mutai so that the Kenyan could retain his first place. Many people wondered why Anaya simply didn’t take advantage of the situation and take the winning place. But his response was: “I didn’t deserve to win. I did what I had to do.” Simply put: He did the right thing.

Most of us instinctively know what the right thing is to do, yet we justify why we can’t or shouldn’t do it. It’s so easy to focus on the bad. Is it because it’s easier? Or is it because we are so conditioned by the media that the only news worth sharing is bad news that focuses on drama? What about the good news, the inspiring stories? We don’t seem to hear them too often in the headlines.

I am really passionate about call centres, I love my job and the industry I work in, and I’m proud to be associated with it. Many people I meet are surprised by this because when you mention the word call centre it usually conjures up images of cold calling, mis-selling, misinformation, time wasting and frustration. Yes, these things do happen, unfortunately, and I don’t agree with them at all. But there are also many positives that come out of call centres. Yet we don’t hear people sharing the positives, where people did the right thing, and went out of their way to help someone when they really didn’t need to.

Imagine if more positive stories were shared, and people started looking at call centres in a positive light.  It could make quite a difference to their attitude when they next phone a call centre.  They might do the right thing too. Instead of getting upset with the agent because something has gone wrong they might treat him or her with more respect, simply because it is the right thing to do.

Here’s one such positive story: A customer purchased a portable mini speaker from an online store and opted to collect it from the warehouse on the weekend. En route to the warehouse she realised she had her times wrong. The warehouse was closing at 12h00 not 13h00 as she’d thought. Realising she was still 15 minutes away at 11h55, she tried to phone the contact centre. There was no answer and so the customer resigned herself to her mistake. Two minutes later, her cell phone rang. It was the call centre. They’d picked up a dropped call and wondered if they could assist. The customer explained the situation, asking to confirm if the warehouse was in fact closed. The call centre agent confirmed this was true. It would have been perfectly understandable to leave it at that. The customer knew it was her fault she hadn’t arrived there on time.

Instead, the call centre didn’t leave it there. She asked the client to hold while she found out if the warehouse dispatch would be willing to wait so that the customer could collect her purchase. They would! It was 12h35 by the time she pulled up to the warehouse.   Twice during this time the call centre agent had phoned back to find out if the customer was getting there accurately. She even helped with directions when the customer got lost. The warehouse guy was waiting outside with the package. He greeted the customer with a smile and when she thanked him for staying and waiting for her, his response was: “It’s a pleasure, only happy to help!”

The customer service didn’t stop there. The agent called back a third time to ensure the customer had been able to collect her package. The call centre agent went above and beyond the call of duty. She gave up her weekend time to stay and assist a customer, and it wasn’t even for an expensive purchase.  Neither the agent nor the dispatch guy had to, but they did – simply because it was the right thing to do. This customer was simply blown away by them making such an effort for her when she had been in the wrong.

This is a great example of customer service success through a call centre. Share this story, share your story. Let’s be inspired to do the right thing!

This blog post has been re-published by kind permission of Carolyn Blunt – View the original post

Published On: 14th Oct 2014 - Last modified: 4th May 2018
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