BLOG: The Eagles Nest


Recently I have experienced the service response of organizations that acquired businesses that were long term product suppliers which I historically rated very high. But since the acquisitions there has been a significant deterioration in customer, quality service. I expect there should be some customer-centric postmortems so that top management understands the erosion that has taken place and initiates corrective steps to avoid a run off of profitable business.

First I will describe a scenario that is near to my heart and in which I am subjective on many fronts. In my RBC career I had the good fortune to help build the foundation contact centres which operated at high service standards in such measurements as wait times and the ability of the agents to handle requests without hand-offs, to name a few. Into the picture comes Aviva which acquires the auto and household segments of the insurance operation. Then I start to get feedback from family members and friends that the customer first culture was broken. Naturally, I was skeptical until this past week when I personally had to be involved with requesting a quote for insurance on a new condo. Contact centre calls had to be made four times; wait times were always close to an hour; agents had to check with background officers before any approvals which also took an extended wait time. In the end they had to admit that they couldn't provide the product required! A call was made to a local broker which we also deal with and in less than two hours the paper work had been done and the faxes had gone to the lawyers involved! This engagement will lead to not renewing other current business with Aviva plus the negative experience will be communicated to friends and family members.

Second, in our small rural community we were fortunate to have a privately owned cable company that provided outstanding service from the owner down to the newest recruit. Eastlink bought the company and promised continued high level service and expanded products.....until something goes wrong! The company started introducing upgrades which eventually affected the TV reception. A service call was placed to the local number which bounced to an Eastlink call centre with long wait times and a repeated message to try their Internet service. Naturally, I took the option and on the site I had to put in my postal code so they could respond properly. Their program did not recognize my postal code- one which covers over a thousand of their customers. So back to another long wait in the call centre wait line.When a technician gets on the phone he wants to try and remedy my poor reception from the their central service call centre, so I obliged. After a few minutes I had no reception the day before the Thanksgiving weekend with family members arriving. Now the wait was five days to get the "local" technician to come to the house, which he did. Service was reactivated but I was warned that there could be problems because the cable was old. Yes the reception was unsatisfactory so back to the call centre and wait a day or two for the technician to return and get it right. Fortunately in our rural area their is another option for Internet/TV/telephone.

These are personal examples which others are probably experiencing. So were are the leaders dedicated to customer service or don't they realize that service is what drives profitability or erosion thereof!

Pat Palmer | Saturday, October 21, 2017 | Trackbacks (0) | Permalink


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