The Gait Post

Wherever I Lay My Hat

I’ve had the always harrowing experience of moving home the last couple of months, and its been very interesting to see how much Technology and

Read More »

It’s A Kind Of Magic

So, we had the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report for BPO Contact Centres released a week or two ago.

How much attention do organisations actually pay to it? Is it a bit like the awards, in that it means more to those in it than those not in it?

Read More »

Chasing Cars

I decided it was time for a new car a few weeks ago. This should be a moment and time of excitement and joyous anticipation, but nothing could be further removed. When did buying a car from a main dealership become such a soulless, dull, de-personalised transaction? And I say transaction deliberately, because that’s literally all it was, no sense of customer experience whatsoever, just a cold and joyless process. Or maybe this is just BMW.

Read More »

Hotel California

Went away last weekend for the bank holiday, and arrived at the hotel at 2.30pm. We were told our room wasn’t ready, and wouldn’t be ready for another hour and half. Ok, no problem we thought, we will sit and have a drink. About an hour went by, and no sign of our room, but plenty of other guests arriving and being checked in. Beginning to get a bit annoyed, I went to enquire. I thought I’d try the self-service check in, but they had all been switched off. What’s the point of having self-service check in terminals, if you’re going to switch them off, and make your guests queue outside?

Read More »
Customer Experience

OK Computer

When are insurance companies going to wake up and realise it’s no longer the 90s? I needed to amend 2 policies this week, both with Saga. For some reason, my wife’s car is on my policy and my car is on her policy, and they need to be swapped over. As they are both with saga, and both in the online account, you would think, and hope, this would be not on do-able, but relatively straightforward? How wrong we can be.

Read More »
Happy Customers

Shiny Happy People

Am pleased to write about some great experiences this week following my house move. We are quick to share our bad experiences and call out organisations when they get it wrong, and rightly so, but I feel it’s only fair to highlight where companies have got it working really well, particularly in situations where we often expect a drama or a fight.

Read More »
money making

I got chills, they’re multiplying

How hard do you think it is to buy a Fridge? The answer, if you want to buy it from Curry’s or Creation Finance, is almost impossible. You wouldn’t believe any company could make it so hard for you to give them your money. Moved house this week, and had space for a new Fridge Freezer. Have always had a decent experience with Curry’s before, so went on their website. 9.30am. Found the right one, priced match, and then up comes an offer for interest free finance. Great, always happy to use someone else’s money before I start on my own. However, here’s where the trouble starts.

Read More »

It’s a Gas Gas Gas

Have been selling a house recently, and am in the middle of moving everything this week, and it’s been enlightening to see the self-serve and digital journey offerings of some of the big utility providers, and the contrast in CX between British Gas and E-on could not be greater. Part of selling the house is we need to have the boiler serviced. No problem, I have Homecare with British Gas. Go online 3 or 4 months ago and book it. All good. Appointment date was 6 weeks ago, waited in all day. No one arrived. No text, no email, nada.

Read More »

Don’t Speak

It is 480 days since the first lockdown was announced in March last year. This is longer than it took for the Empire State Building to be built and Robin Knox-Johnston to sail single-handedly around the world. Yet we still have many organisations blaming Covid for truly shocking levels of customer service and appalling wait times. But its now getting even worse. We now have companies telling us not to even bother ringing them at all

Read More »

Blood on the Tracks

The state of customer service and user experience on Britain’s railways and the delay repay scheme is well past being a national joke. Its from the dark ages, and like the dinosaurs, its needs to become extinct. A couple of weeks ago we travelled down to the harbour for an afternoon out. Upon arriving at the train station to see the not unusual horror with Southern (F)Rail of Delays and Cancellations across the departure screens.

Read More »

Groovy Train

This week’s guest blog is from Vicky Carruthers: “My parents have decided they would like to go over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on our holiday. The Glenfinnan Viaduct runs on the line between Fort William and Mallaig, and was made famous by the Harry Potter Films. Now, a popular day out, particularly as there is a steam train that runs on this route, two journeys a day. Now, you would think booking this train journey would be straight forward right? After all it is 2021 and it’s just a train journey. Wrong. I started trying to book this journey in the middle of May, for some time between 26th June and 10th July.”

Read More »

The Bartender and the Thief

Lets talk about pubs and customer effort. 2 of my favourite subjects, although not topics that are often talked about in the same sentence, but hear me out. Went out last Friday, and the difference between user experiences owned by 3 major breweries could not be more stark, leaving us never going back to one, despite it being a regular before, and one of the nicer ones in town.

Read More »

Hanging on the Telephone

There is now a lot of customer dissatisfaction about wait times to the contact centre and with companies blaming this on Covid. In This Report last week from Moneypenny published in the FMJ, 85% of consumers were unimpressed with companies blaming long wait times on Covid, and their patience is wearing thin.

Read More »

Material Girl

A lot of retailers have suddenly woken up to how valuable their contact centres are, having relied solely on their stores until now, viewing the customer service centre as a necessary overhead to be managed. This is leading to many of them needing to bring their contact centres and the customer service supporting infrastructure right up to date having underfunded and under developed it for many years.

Read More »

Together Forever

The Virgin Media and 02 merger has now been given approval to proceed. I’m curious as to know what this is going to mean for their CX design and their contact centre estate. Virgin in particular have had an appalling reputation, and have never really fixed broken processes and customer journeys from several legacy acquisitions and rebrands from the cable space going back many years. I still wear the battle scars from my days at NTHell as we somewhat affectionately called it.

Read More »

You can’t always get what you want

I have been struck over the last couple of months how many companies are complaining about a skills shortage. And not just call centres either. Utilities companies, retailers, healthcare organisations, travel businesses. Wherever I’ve been this year, organisations are struggling both to the find people with the skills needed, but more worryingly, the people who they already have, not being competent in their existing roles, causing unacceptable performance issues and resulting business impacts.

Read More »

Get on the Bus and cause no fuss

Bus use had dropped over 20% outside of London in recent years, and since the pandemic, numbers have plummeted, as low as 9% of previous levels in places during the various lockdowns. Many of the passengers won’t come back under the current market arrangements and there is a fundamental shift taking place in the sector, that some feel is long overdue. What’s clear is that the deregulated, privatised commercial model that has operated since 1988 has had its day.

Read More »

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

We have talked plenty in recent weeks about very poor service experiences, so am delighted this week to write about two great experiences. I went to the physio last week. Never something to look forward to, but they have definitely updated and redesigned their service experience since I last went a couple of years ago. They now have an online pre-assessment where you fill out details of your condition, pain issues, mobility etc. This is then reviewed by the physio before you arrive on his tablet, so doesn’t waste time establishing the nature of the condition. More time for treatment. Everything about the condition, treatment and exercise plan, explained on the screen, with diagrams, all supported with a really fabulous human interaction.

Read More »

Working My Way Back To You

Have we seen the death of Presenteeism? If there is such a thing as a good thing to come out of the COVID pandemic, surely this is it? No one used to bat an eyelid if someone in the office went out for a 5 minute cigarette break or had a five minute chat whilst making a coffee. Now our breaks include taking the bins out or hanging the washing out. It’s the same thing but different right?

Read More »

A Tribute to Don Hales

I was desperately sad to hear of the passing of Customer Service legend Don Hales last Friday. The word legend is often overused, but when it comes to the impact and legacy Don leaves on the world of Customer Service, it barely does him justice. A tear was shed, the gap he leaves in our professional world, and personal lives of many, will be huge.

Read More »

Bank of Bad Habits

Anthony Healds frustrations with Sainsbury’s Bank last week struck a chord with me. If you didn’t see it, here it is. “Four and a half minutes of IVR which screamed ‘GO ONLINE AND SERVE YOURSELF’. I tried that but as I wanted to cancel a card the website told me to call. ‘Due to Covid…’ followed by ‘due to severe weather…’, regularly interspersed with ‘YOU CAN DO MOST THINGS ONLINE’. This is a blue chip brand here that clearly did not want to talk to me, despite telling me to call.

Read More »
Where did the love go?

Where Did All The Love Go?

My wife had to take her car in for its service this week. I say had too, because it’s a necessity that no one chooses to do. We’ve had issues with this dealership before, but the alternatives are an hour away. She turns up and they are there usual rude selves, eyes down, going through the checklist, whilst she stood in front of their desk, no doubt the process they have been instructed to follow. Then she had to go outside to call a taxi and wait outside for it to arrive.

Read More »

Wherever I Lay My Hat

I’ve had the always harrowing experience of moving home the last couple of months, and its been very interesting to see how much Technology and

Read More »

It’s A Kind Of Magic

So, we had the latest Gartner Magic Quadrant report for BPO Contact Centres released a week or two ago.

How much attention do organisations actually pay to it? Is it a bit like the awards, in that it means more to those in it than those not in it?

Read More »

Chasing Cars

I decided it was time for a new car a few weeks ago. This should be a moment and time of excitement and joyous anticipation, but nothing could be further removed. When did buying a car from a main dealership become such a soulless, dull, de-personalised transaction? And I say transaction deliberately, because that’s literally all it was, no sense of customer experience whatsoever, just a cold and joyless process. Or maybe this is just BMW.

Read More »

Hotel California

Went away last weekend for the bank holiday, and arrived at the hotel at 2.30pm. We were told our room wasn’t ready, and wouldn’t be ready for another hour and half. Ok, no problem we thought, we will sit and have a drink. About an hour went by, and no sign of our room, but plenty of other guests arriving and being checked in. Beginning to get a bit annoyed, I went to enquire. I thought I’d try the self-service check in, but they had all been switched off. What’s the point of having self-service check in terminals, if you’re going to switch them off, and make your guests queue outside?

Read More »
Customer Experience

OK Computer

When are insurance companies going to wake up and realise it’s no longer the 90s? I needed to amend 2 policies this week, both with Saga. For some reason, my wife’s car is on my policy and my car is on her policy, and they need to be swapped over. As they are both with saga, and both in the online account, you would think, and hope, this would be not on do-able, but relatively straightforward? How wrong we can be.

Read More »
Happy Customers

Shiny Happy People

Am pleased to write about some great experiences this week following my house move. We are quick to share our bad experiences and call out organisations when they get it wrong, and rightly so, but I feel it’s only fair to highlight where companies have got it working really well, particularly in situations where we often expect a drama or a fight.

Read More »
money making

I got chills, they’re multiplying

How hard do you think it is to buy a Fridge? The answer, if you want to buy it from Curry’s or Creation Finance, is almost impossible. You wouldn’t believe any company could make it so hard for you to give them your money. Moved house this week, and had space for a new Fridge Freezer. Have always had a decent experience with Curry’s before, so went on their website. 9.30am. Found the right one, priced match, and then up comes an offer for interest free finance. Great, always happy to use someone else’s money before I start on my own. However, here’s where the trouble starts.

Read More »

It’s a Gas Gas Gas

Have been selling a house recently, and am in the middle of moving everything this week, and it’s been enlightening to see the self-serve and digital journey offerings of some of the big utility providers, and the contrast in CX between British Gas and E-on could not be greater. Part of selling the house is we need to have the boiler serviced. No problem, I have Homecare with British Gas. Go online 3 or 4 months ago and book it. All good. Appointment date was 6 weeks ago, waited in all day. No one arrived. No text, no email, nada.

Read More »

Don’t Speak

It is 480 days since the first lockdown was announced in March last year. This is longer than it took for the Empire State Building to be built and Robin Knox-Johnston to sail single-handedly around the world. Yet we still have many organisations blaming Covid for truly shocking levels of customer service and appalling wait times. But its now getting even worse. We now have companies telling us not to even bother ringing them at all

Read More »

Blood on the Tracks

The state of customer service and user experience on Britain’s railways and the delay repay scheme is well past being a national joke. Its from the dark ages, and like the dinosaurs, its needs to become extinct. A couple of weeks ago we travelled down to the harbour for an afternoon out. Upon arriving at the train station to see the not unusual horror with Southern (F)Rail of Delays and Cancellations across the departure screens.

Read More »

Groovy Train

This week’s guest blog is from Vicky Carruthers: “My parents have decided they would like to go over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on our holiday. The Glenfinnan Viaduct runs on the line between Fort William and Mallaig, and was made famous by the Harry Potter Films. Now, a popular day out, particularly as there is a steam train that runs on this route, two journeys a day. Now, you would think booking this train journey would be straight forward right? After all it is 2021 and it’s just a train journey. Wrong. I started trying to book this journey in the middle of May, for some time between 26th June and 10th July.”

Read More »

The Bartender and the Thief

Lets talk about pubs and customer effort. 2 of my favourite subjects, although not topics that are often talked about in the same sentence, but hear me out. Went out last Friday, and the difference between user experiences owned by 3 major breweries could not be more stark, leaving us never going back to one, despite it being a regular before, and one of the nicer ones in town.

Read More »

Hanging on the Telephone

There is now a lot of customer dissatisfaction about wait times to the contact centre and with companies blaming this on Covid. In This Report last week from Moneypenny published in the FMJ, 85% of consumers were unimpressed with companies blaming long wait times on Covid, and their patience is wearing thin.

Read More »

Material Girl

A lot of retailers have suddenly woken up to how valuable their contact centres are, having relied solely on their stores until now, viewing the customer service centre as a necessary overhead to be managed. This is leading to many of them needing to bring their contact centres and the customer service supporting infrastructure right up to date having underfunded and under developed it for many years.

Read More »

Together Forever

The Virgin Media and 02 merger has now been given approval to proceed. I’m curious as to know what this is going to mean for their CX design and their contact centre estate. Virgin in particular have had an appalling reputation, and have never really fixed broken processes and customer journeys from several legacy acquisitions and rebrands from the cable space going back many years. I still wear the battle scars from my days at NTHell as we somewhat affectionately called it.

Read More »

You can’t always get what you want

I have been struck over the last couple of months how many companies are complaining about a skills shortage. And not just call centres either. Utilities companies, retailers, healthcare organisations, travel businesses. Wherever I’ve been this year, organisations are struggling both to the find people with the skills needed, but more worryingly, the people who they already have, not being competent in their existing roles, causing unacceptable performance issues and resulting business impacts.

Read More »

Get on the Bus and cause no fuss

Bus use had dropped over 20% outside of London in recent years, and since the pandemic, numbers have plummeted, as low as 9% of previous levels in places during the various lockdowns. Many of the passengers won’t come back under the current market arrangements and there is a fundamental shift taking place in the sector, that some feel is long overdue. What’s clear is that the deregulated, privatised commercial model that has operated since 1988 has had its day.

Read More »

Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

We have talked plenty in recent weeks about very poor service experiences, so am delighted this week to write about two great experiences. I went to the physio last week. Never something to look forward to, but they have definitely updated and redesigned their service experience since I last went a couple of years ago. They now have an online pre-assessment where you fill out details of your condition, pain issues, mobility etc. This is then reviewed by the physio before you arrive on his tablet, so doesn’t waste time establishing the nature of the condition. More time for treatment. Everything about the condition, treatment and exercise plan, explained on the screen, with diagrams, all supported with a really fabulous human interaction.

Read More »

Working My Way Back To You

Have we seen the death of Presenteeism? If there is such a thing as a good thing to come out of the COVID pandemic, surely this is it? No one used to bat an eyelid if someone in the office went out for a 5 minute cigarette break or had a five minute chat whilst making a coffee. Now our breaks include taking the bins out or hanging the washing out. It’s the same thing but different right?

Read More »

A Tribute to Don Hales

I was desperately sad to hear of the passing of Customer Service legend Don Hales last Friday. The word legend is often overused, but when it comes to the impact and legacy Don leaves on the world of Customer Service, it barely does him justice. A tear was shed, the gap he leaves in our professional world, and personal lives of many, will be huge.

Read More »