Adrienne Lawler

...does bad customer service cost? And would you pay to be on the receiving end of it? An odd question perhaps but one I can answer on both counts as I just had the best bad experience ever when I went to see, or more accurately, participate in, a Faulty (sic) Towers dining experience in London, complete with Basil, Manuel and Cybil - absolutely loved it and would highly recommend it for anyone who wants something entertaining and different in London at under £50 per head.

However, it brought back memories I'm sure we all have of paces we've been to, or shops we've visited where we've felt little more than a b..... nuisance and so I wondered how much things have changed?

Not enough apparently because many businesses are still not getting it right. It is estimated that the US (a place I often think of as the benchmark for excellence when it comes to customer service) loses $41 billion - yes billion - per annum because of it. And by that, I don't just mean losing customer who simply don't come back but with the age of sites like Trip Advisor, not even getting a chance to prove themselves in the first place because their online reviews are so back or peer to peer platforms are all about the negatives. For the younger readers I should explain that in this instance, peer to peer platform means 'conversations'. Look it up.

Thinking about it logically, what else can consumers do; they want to go out for dinner (special or otherwise) or book a room in a hotel in a place they don't know so they seek out information to make an informed decision. When they find out the negatives it would take a brave (or foolish) person to ignore them as this article proves; over 90% of our buying decisions are influenced by online reviews. 

Stretch the example a little further to interviewing and it's even easier to see why we need to have a 360 degree approach to how we present ourselves and our product. From the basic onwards, we need to be thinking about the person we're connecting with. When applying for a job, only an idiot would turn up late, disheveled and reeking of alcohol yet I would guess that almost all of us have been that careless when it comes to the jobs we currently hold. Blind to the idea that our colleagues & bosses may also have access to our profiles (activities) online. Why do it? Why be so cavalier with something that meant so much when you initially went for the job and were on absolute best behaviour, probably getting your hair cut especially, splashing out on a new suit and arriving 15 minutes early, just in case. The change is extraordinary!. Even more remarkable is the fact that we can easily see what promises haven't been delivered by the other side (company or partner) yet struggle to see (or acknowledge) where we may have fallen short.

So here's my challenge for everyone today; think back to all you said at the interview/first date, review your attitude and behaviours to date and decide if they really, truly match up. If they do, congratulations, you deserve much praise & reward. If not, what are you waiting for?! Be the person who got the job/girlfriend/boyfriend or opportunity today not the person who is complaining about their lot and what they haven't got.

Make the decision to be the very best you there is and then go do it!


Adrienne Lawler

Broadcaster Presenter BBC/SKY/ITV/CNN Live Events Facilitator. Adding measurable value and bottom-line impacterer