inconvenient website

Was there ever such an irritating – or ubiquitous phrase? Almost always directed at long-suffering customers; almost without exception achieving the opposite effect.

Am I hearing it more often these days, or is it just ‘confirmation bias’, (only noting evidence that confirms your thinking)? Maybe that was why I spotted Seth Godin’s*** blog this week on the same subject. His tongue-in-cheek take on it was to inform his audience that ‘for their convenience’ he was removing all the vowels from his blogs. Our brains being the marvellous machines they are, it is still possible to get the sense of a sentence minus the vowels … bt mchhrdr wrk fr th rdr f crs.  This is the problem with most of these bright new initiatives – the only convenience is for the provider.

Ambling into our local hospital for a blood test recently (the results of which were to be immediately forwarded to my specialist for an appointment the next day), I observed the following notice: ‘From 01 Nov, for the convenience of our patients, blood tests will no longer be given on a walk-in basis. Blood tests now need to be booked in advance, using our dedicated phone line or through your doctor’. How was that supposed to be convenient for someone whose appointment was early the next morning, with no knowledge of this new rule in advance?

From now on, can anyone who provides even the rudiments of customer service, please stop dreaming up ways of making your own lives easier then compounding the felony by disingenuously declaring that it is for your customers’ benefit. Allow me to let you into a secret – your customers have seen through you!

Instead, please look through your modus operandi – and weed out everything that is not 100% customer focussed. How can you distinguish yourself from the competition if your service provision involves all the effort coming from the customer, yet less and less from you, the provider?

Stop now … right now!  Yes, I mean you ….

… you, the executive in the higher echelons of banking, thinking it will be ‘more convenient’ to have old folk getting three buses, a park-and-ride and a lift astride the crossbar of a push bike to collect their pension from the nearest branch.

… you, the shop assistant suggesting that ‘Modom can always order online’ to excuse a lack of choice in store or your limited enthusiasm for tracking down the correct size.

… you, the parcel post company, who either fails to provide a delivery window or who waits for a maximum of 3 nano-seconds after ringing the doorbell, before tossing the package over the back fence.

I realise I have left myself open to only being offered a size 0 in my local dress shop, or my next fragile parcel being slung in my wheelie bin – but if my blog today puts the brakes on just one over-zealous executive, my sacrifice will have been worthwhile.

Your Reaction: If you have any ‘for your in-convenience’ experiences you would like to share; or if your team need some ideas to help them provide exceptional service to your customers, contact us for additional information or to arrange a chat with one of the Stratus team

***Seth Godin – American business guru and motivational speaker/ blogger

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Stratus Associates