What makes for good service? While in the UK/Europe we rented a vehicle. Fully covered with RAC. Great – until we actually DID break down. Who you going to call? RAC of course. At the time we were outside of Dingle, in the South West of Ireland. Quite an isolated spot and we break down around 4pm on a Saturday. Call RAC. Nope – that’s not us (RAC Europe). Huh? Well, surely we are not covered by RAC UK. After talking with folk at both RAC Europe and RAC UK, we determined that there is a separate number for callers in Ireland (like us!). Eventually we DID get the help we needed. (but they seemed unaware of what benefit or help they could provide as they weren’t sure what was detailed in the contract. But – they can’t help us out until the vehicle has been inspected. We are towed on a Saturday evening in a small town, they can’t look at it until Monday, and we are stuck with no accommodation in a tourist town on a weekend during the summer – no help form the RAC!)
Closer to home – think about the average, small, single-office businesses. How difficult is it to manage the processes? Processes in large firms, stretched over multiple continents, must be carefully mapped and managed. Small firms seem to think that they are able to just skip that stuff. As a customer or a consumer it doesn’t inspire confidence when a firm cannot manage their processes, manages to have information disappear, two employees aren’t talking with one another, or people simply don’t call you back or contact you. A little bit of work, understanding their processes, mapping them out, identifying points where the processes may ‘fail’ (information is passed onto the right people, forms are lost, and no-one in the office even notices?), can help the firm improve their processes, reduce wastes, respond more quickly, and ensure that consumers or customers receive the best possible treatment.
In contrast: RAC Australia – breakdown, they give you an estimate of the time it’ll take to get there, calls when they get close, follow through. As a customer, every step of the way you know what’s going on, there is a fast and efficient response, and you can certainly feel confident everyone knows what is happening. Required information is shared between the parties. Great stuff and kudos to RAC in Australia J
Get the processes right – impress the customers. Effective processes and careful management provide the foundation for great service.