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Customer Satisfaction - Stopping Angry Giants
by Prof. Mark K. Smith

When I was a school boy an old English teacher - Mr Burrows - always insisted that the first sentence you write is the most important one of all; it sets the scene for the essay and must therefore entice the reader to persevere. If one is to set esteem by such advice I have unfortunately just wasted my best opportunity to encourage you to carry on……. so I shall start again……

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, there lived a giant. This giant had ordered a new pair of boots from Fee Fi Fo Fum plc, a niche footwear supplier for the larger footed. Gerald (for that was his name) knew that his order was scheduled to arrive this coming Friday, well in time for his planned foray down the beanstalk for a spot of village destroying. He had placed the order in plenty of time and had been told to expect delivery sometime during that day. Gerald, unlike his more ferocious fellows, was a mild mannered giant (if such a thing can be imagined) so it wasn’t until 8:30am on Friday morning that he started to get annoyed.

By 8:35am he was drumming his fingers impatiently on his outsized breakfast table. By twenty to nine you could (if you’d dared to stand nearby) see the veins begin to pop out of his reddening temple. Interestingly, though Gerald was unaware of this (what with giants caring little about their appearance and rarely owning mirrors), the veins spelt out a particularly rude word.

And so it came to pass that by 10am Gerald decided he would try and find his boots by personally telephoning Fe Fi. The company had spent many meetings deciding that it would be kind to their customers by leaving a message on their telephone number to explain that whilst all customers were very important to them, they were in fact very busy indeed and would not be able to answer the phone for at least 2 hours. Thoughtful folk that they were, they suggested that Gerald asked for a ‘call back’, whereupon our increasingly red faced giant would get a call from Never Never Land. The elves of Never Never Land are very keen to help, just so long as you can understand their very strong elvish accents and don’t deviate from a set of questions that they have written down in blood red ink, on a vellum scroll by the call centre senior Troll.

Unable to stand the jazz funk version of Green Sleeves any longer, Gerald (whose veins where now pulsating exactly to the rhythm of his increasingly fast heart rate, making the word on his head resemble a small neon sign hanging above a particularly rude shop on a dark night) asked for a call back.

He waited.

And waited.

He waited some more.

And then he waited.

By 12 noon Gerald had started to eat his own breakfast table, he’d kicked his favourite chair (made of the finest Elvish bones) as hard as he could, which, ironically because he’d forgotten he wasn’t wearing any boots, made him even crosser.

No call by 12:30.

Gerald finally snapped.

He wrapped his (badly bruised) feet with the skin of an Englishman and started down the beanstalk.

And that’s where this tale must end, for what followed is not for the faint-hearted. We can only live in hope that the good elves of Never Never Land make sure they popped out for lunch as they heard the crash, crash, crash of a stomping Giant’s furious approach……

Sound familiar? Bet it does. This was exactly the experience I had with a well know European Telecommunications company, whose name I forget……

This is the (not so) fairy tale that ContactEngine was created to stop. Your customers are your most precious assets, without them you don’t have a business; it doesn’t matter if you are a bank, a broadband provider, a retailer, a doctor or a seller of giant’s boots, you need to treat customers in exactly the same way you’d treat your friends or your family. With kindness, respect and above all with reliable information that binds your promises to their expectations.

Just because they have got their wallets out and made that purchase does not mean that they are less important than the next customer to buy. You want to be brilliant and to be seen to be brilliant. Your customer needs to be informed, they need to know when their stuff is going to happen, be that an appointment, a delivery of a bag of sand, their medicine or their new TV. Additionally, when that service is complete, you need to ask them if it met their expectations and if it did not, sort out the problem and do it fast. And when all is well you can ask them to tell you how good you were – and ask them to give a little bit more of a story about your people and how they delivered your service.

That’s what we do. We treat each and every one of your customers as if they were the most important person in the world. We remind them of their delivery/appointment/service through their choice of communication channel: SMS, phone call, e-mail, app, web and/or social media. The means of communication is therefore tailored to the convenience of the customer, as it’s not the company’s right to decide. We use personalised messages, paying extreme care and attention to the words we use, the frequency by which we send and even the time and the day at which they are sent. That way we can achieve up to a 97% contact rate. And what’s more, when the delivery/appointment/service is done we can use the customer’s favoured communication channel to ask ‘was everything ok?’ and if the answer is ‘no’ we address the issue faster than an angry giant climbing down a bean stalk. We do this to transform a cross Gerald into a happy Gerald. And when Gerald is happy he’ll tell you why, and as a result you can tell your colleagues what makes your customers happy and change your company behaviour so that you provide better and better customer service. How confident are we that we can do this for you?

Totally. Completely. Certainly.

If you want to make all your Gerald’s happy, just give us a shout.

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