Personal Service

Having dealings with three particular companies recently highlighted to me the difference between a big corporate and a small business when it comes to customer service.

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As you may know, my wife is a photographer. Being a geek, I look after the software running her business and had cause to contact Lightblue Software last week to resolve an issue. I tweeted their support and received a reply solving my problem within 3 minutes from Hamish, one of the developers.

A few days later, I needed to make an urgent change to my own back office software, Acturis. One personally directed email to support saw my change actioned within 30 minutes.

Contrast that with by experiences with Virgin Media recently. I was transferring my broadband facility to a business account and must have spoken to in excess of 20 different individuals, in different departments, who ranged from disinterested to disinclined to help. I was passed from department to department, each one blaming the other and leaving me in the middle to try to make sense of it. This from a company synonymous with Sir Richard Branson* who was stressing the importance of customer service only last week on Alex Polizzi's The Fixer.

It leaves me convinced that the only businesses who can give true quality customer service are those small enough to make it personal. Where one person understands your needs and makes it their responsibility to ensure that those needs are met, then you feel looked after.

Think about how you want to be treated and opt for personal service every time.

*Richard Branson clearly isn't as famous as he used to be:

  1. I am never asked to repeat my name on the phone any more having been mistaken for him
  2. Richard Bacon was a more popular answer on a recent episode of Pointless.