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Whatever happened to Genuine Customer Service?

These days, “Customer Service“ is a term used with wild abandon. All businesses claim to provide great Customer Service. Big companies even have huge “Customer Service” departments and employ dedicated “Customer Service” personnel. But isn’t this all missing the point somewhat? Every aspect of every business should be about customer service. All businesses provide a service of some kind to its customers.

Unfortunately, it’s easy to believe these days that “Customer Service” actually means something different to “providing a service to our customers”. All too often, in a larger organisation, the Customer Service department is deliberately created as a barrier between customers and the operational activities of the company.

Let’s look at an example that will probably sound all too familiar with most readers. I recently moved house and, as part of that process, needed a broadband service to be installed, which I ordered all in good time from one of our large telecomms providers. Unfortunately, the installation hit problems, and the quoted 2 weeks installation period ended up stretched to 6 weeks. Ok, so technical problems do happen, we all understand that. But what I feel is interesting, is the way you end up communicating with an organisation at the various stages of the process.

When ordering a service, you are usually talking to a “sales” department, who will bend over backwards to help you (and to take your order!). When the work is being done, you will see, and even talk to, what I call the operations people, the engineers, line management that are actually doing the job. But when, as in my example, things start to go wrong, you end up communicating with a “Customer Service” department. Often, this is a call centre, and in my case I was definitely talking to someone that had no idea of what was happening with my particular job.

What I actually wanted to do was talk to the boss of the engineer that was carrying out the work. If I had been able to do that, I’m sure the situation could have been resolved very quickly. But, as is usually the case these days, this was not possible. I had to deal with “Customer Services”.

Of course it is all about economies of scale, efficiency, and I assume, keeping costs down. And we all understand that to an extent. But frankly, that means “Customer Service” is these days about long winded call queuing systems, remote call centres, distant, anonymous emails and web forms. In our view, that’s not customer service, that’s customer “handling”.

Don’t you agree that it can be so frustrating and time consuming trying to resolve even simple issues these days? Don’t you just miss the days when Customer Service meant just that – providing a service to customers?

We firmly believe it doesn’t have to be that way. We know that Chameleon Systems are not a massive company. But we’re not that small either. We don’t have a customer service department. Our entire company provides customer service and we are proud of the service we provide.

If you want to speak to us, you call us and we answer the phone. You get to speak to the Sales Manager, the Service Manager, the Project guy, whoever YOU feel you need to speak to. Or you email the person you need, individually, by name. That means any issues that arise get sorted out directly, quickly and efficiently. And it’s a much nicer way to do business, don’t you agree?

Give it a try, pick up the phone. At Chameleon, old fashioned customer service is alive and kicking!


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