Bad Customer Service is guaranteed to kill your business

You may have top of the range product and top of the range technicians but if your customer service sucks, it’s guaranteed to kill your business over a period.

Few months ago I engaged with a local custom fitted bedrooms and home office company to transform a spare room into an office room. The designer came first, we discussed few options and finally settled for one. We agreed on fitting date 3 weeks down the line. On the fitting date, fitter came with some office units and when he started measuring he noticed there is difference in measurement of few inches. He contacted the head office and guy suggested to cut it off and patch it. Basically instead of a clean finish, there is going to be a joint, kind of defeating the purpose of paying a premium for a nice fitted furniture. I spoke to that head office person, he gave me couple of options,  we can either take everything back (with bit of anger) and come and fit it in 3 weeks time or can go ahead with the suggestion. I was not ready to wait for another 3 weeks, and I’ve already wasted that day.  So just asked the fitter to go ahead with the patch solution. The fitter was an excellent worker, he did an amazing job. Couple of days later the bill came for the full amount. I called the head office person and told him I’m expecting some kind of discount for the patch work. He treated me like one of those nasty customers, who always finds excuse to get a discount and was not ready to listen to my feedback. I could have simply told the fitter to take the stuff back and redo it, which could have costed the company some serious money (a new set of furniture, fitters day rate, etc). After 10 minutes I just gave up and told him I don’t have time to argue, will just pay the balance.

This ended up in a poor customer satisfaction, he could have dealt with the scenario smoothly by just giving a small discount (£100 out of the £3000 order) and made the customer happy.

After few days I decided to add additional seating area in the home office and contacted them again. The only reason was due to the good workmanship of the fitter who did the job. The designer guy visited the place again, sketched some designs and we agreed to go with one. I asked him to send exactly same fitter even if it takes longer. Three weeks later the same fitter came with new set of furniture. To both of our surprise, the designer messed with the measurement again. This time I didn’t get into any discussion, just asked him to take the stuff back and come with correct fitting, after 2 weeks the fitter came with right furniture and once again he did an excellent job. At this point I’ve already spent around £4k.

After few days I decided to do up our TV area, since it was cluttered with cable set up box, XBOX, DVD player, etc. I called the same company again (for the same reason the fitter Paul was really good and nice man). This time I received a treatment I’ve never expected. They asked me to measure the place myself and come and visit their showroom. If I can agree with the price, then they can come and do the actual measurement. This is bit unusual approach for a custom fitted bedroom company.  They always visit the place to see the surroundings and give suggestions. I just sensed they are not ready to waste their time due to the size of the order.  I still went ahead took the measurement myself and visited their office, the designer put some drawings and quoted a price of £543. I asked him to round it off to £500. He didn’t show any interest, and simply said can’t do it.  That’s the end of the story. I left the place.

Some of the lessons for business owner