Total Quality Service: Still Required for Your Business Success
Before there was Value Pricing, Total Quality Service was the normal business practice. Myself and other colleagues and collaborators, Ron Baker and Thomas L. Bowden, Sr. all Believed and Taught businesses like yours about competing on Service and, more importantly, before a business can charge premium prices, they must provide their customers with Total Quality Service.
Today was one of those days where the service quality received from one of my preferred service providers failed. As a frequent renter of their vehicles with this particular Car Rental Company, I had “earned” a Customer-Level known as “Executive Selection”. On this particular Sunday, I returned one of their cars in Portland, Oregon. Today (three days later) I received a statement indicating an additional charge of $15 for 2.4 gallons of gas because they claim that my “full fuel tank” was not really full.
Having fueled my vehicle before returning it, I was just a little miffed about the added charge. So, I called the number of the invoice and of course, they couldn’t help me so of course, they transferred me to another customer service line where my phone call was dropped. So, AGAIN, I called a special 800 number on the back of my card where I thought maybe they could help me. But no, the Executive Selection line is for rentals – if you want to discuss an issue about a closed transaction, well then, one has to call the customer service number and the nice lady who was attempting to transfer my call when my call was dropped for the second time. Let’s just call that “Strike-Two”.
Why am I writing about this? Well, surprisingly, this is about Company Leadership and the need to adopt a Company Culture of “Stellar” Customer Service by giving and allowing their Customer Service Representatives the authority to apply judgment to resolve matters On-The-Spot.
After my call was dropped twice, I called the customer service number directly; answered by someone with a worse attitude than I had. Attempting to explain my situation and my request for an adjustment, I was interrupted and challenged about whether “I had a receipt” or not. Well I told him I did and I again went to discuss my situation and he again interrupted me and essentially challenged me while simultaneously presenting his questions in a very smug tone. His tone only exacerbated mine and so I pushed back. The call didn’t end well.
Let’s remember that this is over $15-Bucks (2.4 gallons of gas – Penalty-Pricing is steep). I reviewed my history of rentals last year. I discovered that my total days exceed 30 Rentals (not days) for that year with that particular Service Provider. At $50 or more per day, there is way more than $15 at stake. I think that other Car Rental Companies would like my business and would hopefully give me $15 to pay the “Other” to smooth my transition and minimize my pain. I found my receipt and it is timed 6 minutes before I turned in the car, so it wasn’t like I filled up across town and tried to cheat them. The customer service agent should have had the ability to resolve this and maybe with less of an attitude he could have.
From the Ground Up, What is Professional Service?
Why am I writing about this? Well, surprisingly, this is about Company Leadership who needs to adopt a Company Culture of “Stellar” Customer Service by giving and allowing their Customer Service Representatives the authority to apply judgment (Leadership) to resolve matters On-The-Spot.
What do you think would happen to your Company if you gave it Permission to Excell and Succeed