We would like you to come back to us…

One afternoon I reflected upon how much we were spending on watching TV.

We had been loyal customers of Sky for 13 years.P1040211

We needed satellite because we are in an area that gets poor reception, and for a long time Sky was the only option. Then someone told me about free sat boxes.

As Sky had been my supplier for a long time I phoned them to ask them what they could do for me to reduce the cost of my TV package. Of course the phone number you call in to cost me money as I was not a sky phone customer!

The usual IVR sent me in all directions and I eventually got through to speak to a human being. It was quickly very clear that my customer loyalty stood for nothing.

The agent spent 35 minutes trying to up sell me broadband and a phone package and tried to trade my TV package down by turning off elements of the current deal. She was evidently targeted to up sell to customers rather than listen to the customers nominal value

In the end I gave in, and served the 31 days notice required to terminate my relationship with Sky. In the meantime I purchased a free sat recordable box, easy to install.

The free sat channels are brilliant and the recording facilities are equal to, if not better, than the Skybox.

It’s been about a month since we became free from Sky. Guess what – as a ‘valued customer’ I have just received a flier through the post telling that I was a loyal and valued customer, and that they would like me to come back to them with a 25% discount for a year!

What a pity that they don’t empower their frontline agents to offer such discretion to existing customers a false logic if ever I saw one. I bet that they have a target to get former customers to return to Sky. It will be a different department. I cannot wait to see what they send me next…. What a mad world we live in.

Then the inevitable happened. I received a phone call from Sky asking me if I had received the flier about discounts for valued customers.

The agent I spoke to obviously had no information about me as a client, or the recent history. Obviously not, she was probably from a different business unit, with a different set of objectives to the other teams that have contacted me in recent weeks.

I quietly explained what had happened, and the irony in her phone call. She quit the call quickly as she was clearly not going to meet her target to get me back as a Sky subscriber. It’s obviously not her fault, she has a job to do and bonuses to make.

A crazy world –  a company is prepared to  waste so much resource losing my custom,  and then trying to get it back! Multiple that by hundreds or probably thousands.

They have an internal industry of worker bees who in systemic terms are adding no value to the bottom line.

How different is your organisation I wonder?

Experience suggests that a better understanding of what is actually going on at the front line from a customer perspective will give leaders a more informed diagnosis of the real problem that exists and the actions that can be tested to solve it.

We help leaders to purposefully reflect upon their current challenges, and identify practical and pragmatic ways of getting balance back into the demands upon your life, and delivering positive results in work and life.

Our one to one support will help you to cut through to the nub of your personal challenges and help you to facilitate a way forward that will give you: –

  • Clarity around the key business issues that you are facing and a clear approach to tackle them
  • New capabilities, and capacity to meet future challenges 
  • Greater personal job satisfaction
  • Strategies to deal more effectively with difficult people or situations in your working life

To find out more about how we can help you move your business forward please follow this link. Helping leaders develop new habits

Virgin on the ridiculous!

My broad band has been patchy for a while.

The line had dropped out at regular internals over time. Like most I put up with it for quite a while, but my family complained more and more about the patchy signal as it affected them streaming TV and music.

The download speed was not the best, but the package represented reasonable value for money.

Then I became aware of Yorkshire Broadband from a good friend of mine, who had been using it for a long time. So, I did my research on their easy to use website, and gave them call.

I was soon through to a human being who spoken confidently and clearly about the product. They gave me good advice about the best package for me, and I was signed up.

They took care of the transfer of the line and terminated the current service. Emails, text and phone calls kept me up to speed on the progress of the transfer to the new service.

In the first few days I need to get some advice about my wi-fi signal. A quick call to the UK call centre helped me to solve the issue with sound advice.

This was achieved because the agent had the right skill set and a good knowledge of the technology. A refreshing change from the normal experience of call centres.

This is in stark contrast to another provider who confidently miss sold me a TV, Broadband, and phone package that I was trying to sort out for my father recently.

The small print in the contract showed that the package did not in fact have the TV channels promised. A phone call to the company eventually enabled us to unpick the sale.

A series of three agents spoke to us about the decision to terminate the arrangement. Despite the questions asked, and conversations during the phone call no one passed on information to the next person in the chain.

Each time the story was repeated for the benefit of the supplier, rather than me as the customer. In the end I was passed through to an Indian call centre to an agent who then tried several attempts to sell me an alternative package.

It was clear that each agent had their targets to meet to process my call, and attempt to sell me an alternative. In the end I got what my father wanted – an ending of the contract that we had been miss sold, and a promise that nothing has been done to terminate the existing package. We will have to wait and see!

All of this could have been avoided.

It was complete waste of time from a customer view-point. At point of sale the nature of the phone call had focused upon the detail in the TV package, as I knew exactly what my father wanted.

The agent went for the sale by failing to be specific about the package, and in effect made false promises.

He could have saved us all a lot of wasted time, and the company a lot of money. But, targets drove him to push for a sale and get his performance for the day.

I very much doubt that the link will be made between the call handler and the cancellation of the contract. This will be handled by separate functions set up with targets and response times.

If only they measured what matters to the customers, they would learn so much more! Alas, they will continue to mislead customers by chasing false targets in the belief that they are offering good service, instead of focusing upon what matters to the customer.

It’s true Yorkshire broadband for me!