I was stressed. I was ignored. I was never going back!
It started off as a fairly good day as I drove into a carpark that had implemented the new number plate recognition system to supersede the physical ticket. This is a new system which supposedly streamlines and improves the customer experience. It is quick, paperless and eliminates room for error. Sadly this was not the case.
As I merrily punched in my number plate to pay for my parking I was quite taken aback to be confronted with a rather aggressive looking error message ‘Unable to recognise number plate’. Thinking the fault was with me, I punched it in again. After repeating this several times I knew it was time to ask for some help. I ‘Pressed For Assistance’ but was met with nothing but deafening silence on the receiving end. By now a queue had formed and I was starting to feel stressed.
A little tired of being failed by technology, I went back to basics and chased down a carpark attendant. After initially being ignored, he begrudgingly agreed to help me. Fifteen uncomfortable minutes later, I was happy to see the back of my unhelpful helper. With a flippant “try pressing for assistance again” he gave up and left. The clock was ticking ever closer to my next meeting and I was now stressed, offended and no closer to ever escaping this carpark.
After calling through to their customer service line on my mobile, I was finally speaking with someone who I thought would be able to help me. After explaining my scenario I asked if I could be let out of the carpark so I could still make my next meeting. The unempathetic response promptly came back ‘No! This all has to be done We have to do this properly’. I held my tongue as I thought ‘If this was all done and working properly, I wouldn’t be in this situation’.
After another ten long minutes of incompetence and indifference by the staff, I was finally free! As I drove away, relishing in my newfound freedom, I reflected on my experience with this company. This company apologised for the failure in their technology but that is not what upset me about the entire experience. It was how they treated me as a customer.
The customer is king, a fact that this company did not realise. All of their representatives were so tied up in their new technology, following their rules and ensuring I was charged to my time spent in their carpark that they failed to ensure that I would spend money with them again.
As customers, we know we deserve the highest quality customer service every time we interact with a business, yet in order to provide this, companies need to ensure their employees are up to the job. Your employees’ skills, attitude and efficiency will form the basis of your customer experience and ultimately decide whether they will shop with you again and recommend you to others. After enduring conceding remarks and inefficient service for an unbearable twenty five minutes, I will sadly not do so for my carpark company.
My suggestion to the carpark company is to focus on your three Cs to a WOW! customer experience. Customers, Culture and Coaching. When implemented effectively, these three Cs can transform your company into a place where employees engage and customers are happy.
Providing a strong company culture and adequate training will ensure that your employees have a positive mentality and the necessary skills when they interact with your customers. Investing in these two areas will ensure your employees are happy, efficient and loyal. As Richard Branson has famously said “Train employees well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to”. Who can fault that logic?
To find out more about how Ava can assist your organisation in developing The Three Cs to a WOW! customer experience, click here to book an obligation free 30 minute coffee meeting, at your office or over the phone.