DCR’s good friend and contributor Father Bill Haymaker has sent in a letter we can all relate to. Bill spent the best part of half an hour waiting for someone at Westin Gourmet to answer his telephone call. All he wanted to do was order some genuine American steaks. Being a patient man, he waited and he waited, and he got to wondering why those nice people at Westin Gourmet were too busy to answer the phone…..
Dear Customer Relations,
The clock on my computer has now indicated that it is 09:21, on the 15th of April. This means I have wracked up twenty-one minutes of a national call on my BT bill in trying to reach your Westin Gourmet Customer ‘Service’ number, in order to make a purchase of some quality steaks.
A recording on your customer ‘service’ line instructs me to ‘hold’, and I’ll certainly be taken care of as soon as possible.
And as the clock passes the 09:23 mark, much to my surprise, the number for your corporate headquarters 0115 979 8418, presents a similar recorded message, stating that I should ‘hold. But as we gallop past the 09:26 point in time, the two phone lines I’m sitting on, patiently listening to, reflect nothing other than dead air. No sound, whatsoever, no lift style music, no chirping birds, not even repetitive, mind-numbing solicitations, emits from your customer ‘service’ number. And no sound emits from your ‘administration number. Just dead air!
As I patiently sit here, waiting, it leads me to consider some reasons why you may not be answering the phone:
1. You’ve arrived at work, shocked to discover the bailiff’s have arrived and they’ve restricted you or your employee’s access to the premises.
2. After a rousing weekend of merriment and sing-song of Wizard of Oz music, relating to the passing of Margaret Thatcher, your entire team are nursing severe hangovers, and a few bruises from the police.
3. The industrial park in Nottingham has suffered a tragic and unexpected meteorite, along the lines of the recent one in Russia, where your windows have been blasted out and you and your staff are stone deaf and unable to hear the phones ring.
4. Or perhaps the most tragic possibility of all; you’ve established a witty and effective marketing strategy to entice a growing customer base, but somehow have failed to recognise the importance of backing up what you’re marketing, and insuring that when you advertise that you’re open, that you indeed are, that you possess the sufficient number of staff to support your call volume, and that each of you, from the first point of contact, all the way up to your good self, recognise your core objective and commitment to quality customer service. Otherwise, why bother showing up?
I’m afraid that without effective tools to support your marketing strategy, all may become as sluggish as a blocked colon, due to a steady diet of hormone injected american beef!
In any event, I’m delighted to say that after 28 minutes, a paragon of loveliness, virtue, and company dedication, named Suzanne, was either able to scramble through all the collapsed building rubble, run a diversion route past the bailiff’s, or escape the clutches of a few of those naughty, slippery-handed, middle-management lads, and get to the phone to answer my call.
Even the contemptible, nine circles of hell, abomination known as British Telecom, are able to answer the phone in less than a half-hour; even if the call is transferred to a shanty in the slums of Bangalore. So it leads me to wonder, why can’t a small business in Nottingham beat that pathetic benchmark?
Kudos to Suzanne’s dulcet tones and professionalism. I was next expecting to have the call disconnected altogether, or be transferred to someone in Jamaica selling PPI recovery services!
Imagine, all that just to purchase a couple of US Choice steaks! I normally don’t waste so much time on anything less than US Prime!
Shame on you!
Father Bill Haymaker, CJ
To their credit, Westin Gourmet responded in good grace:
Hi Father Bill Haymaker,
Sorry for the delay in answering your call, we have several members of the team ill today and this is obviously causing a backlog. I appreciate your patience and do hope you enjoy your steaks. Your e-mail was an amusing way of identifying quite a real problem. We are a small business growing, so unfortunately when a few members of team are not here – it does cause issues. Thanks for pointing this out.
for Delicious Marketing Group
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