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20th June 2012 How’s this for avoidably poor Customer Experience?

It never ceases to amaze me just how bad some companies are at delivering a truly rewarding Customer Experience. I recently had occasion to go to Spain for 4 days on business and I booked a car for that period through a well known holiday auto company, as I have done for holidays and business overseas for many years.

On arrival in Spain, when picking up my car I was informed that the policy for a rental of longer than 3 days was “an empty tank” on return. This means that you collect the car with a full tank for which you pay and return with an empty tank, with no refund for any fuel still in the car. In reality this means that they will resell the petrol you have already bought to the next renter and maybe the one after that as well. Of course, during 4 days I used very little fuel, other than driving from and to the airport, leaving probably 80 euros worth of fuel in the car. (Historically, renting a car has been not a great deal more than the taxi fares to & from so it has made sense.)

This is a complete change of policy since I rented a car last August when the policy was that you return the vehicle with a full tank and get a full refund of the payment made for a tank of fuel when collecting the car. On returning to the UK I checked the website and found, buried in the small print, a statement about the empty tank policy, but it did not indicate anywhere that I could see that this was a change of policy.

However, the company did send me a Customer Satisfaction Survey which I duly completed, indicating that I was not only extemely unhappy with this new policy but that, as a regular customer, I would have expected them to draw my attention to this important policy change, and that this was my major dis-satisfaction. This was some weeks ago and as yet no one has contacted me or commented on my negative Customer Experience.

Yes the experience was bad and yes I was an unhappy customer. But that is as nothing as to how I feel now that they have completely ignored my response, which indicates that either no-one has read it or that no-one cares, or both. The real point at stake here is – there is no point in asking for Customer Feedback if you have no intention of doing anything about. That only makes it worse. Getting customers to complete Feedback Surveys does not improve Customer Satisfaction.  This feedback tells you what you need to do to improve your customers’ experience and unless you are seen to be responding it will actually do the very opposite. I doubt that I will use this company again.

9th June 2012 – Posted on LinkedIn

Are you going to the Business in Berkshire EXPO at the Blue Mountain Golf Centre on Thursday 21st June? I will be there and if you want to discuss your sales issues, drop me a line and we can talk them through over a coffee. See you there.

6th June 2012 – Posted on the Business in Berkshire Discussion Group on LinkedIn

With over 40 years’ experience in Sales & Marketing, I will learn and understand your market; align your strengths to the opportunity; review, refresh or rewrite your Sales Strategy, focussing on the possible rather than the purely aspirational; ensure your Organisational Structure is fit for purpose; recruit, train and develop your Sales Team into a high-performance unit; help you develop a customer centric culture; and create an environment for your Customers to become Advocates.

I will bring to your enterprise my skills and knowledge to do those things that at present you have to do because no-one else can, releasing you to spend your extremely valuable time on those vitally important issues that only you can resolve.

Contact me, arrange a meeting and let’s see what we can do together.