The good, the bad and the ugly

I have spoken, written and even shouted many times on the need for CRM to encompass the realm of great technology, people and processes. Too often, organizations consider that CRM is simply a cure all technology. It isn’t and this last week, I have had three separate experiences that reiterate this point.

The good story relates to Telstra who have begun to deliver great customer experiences. I had a fault with my home line that was intermittent and weather related. Not only did Telstra handle my fault efficiently (process) and in a coordinated fashion (technology), but the Service Engineer went far beyond what I expected, even giving me his home number for me to call him on should the issue occur during bad weather! Overall, I received an experience that has led me to tell others. In other words, I am becoming a brand advocate. No wonder that Telstra is rapidly winning back customers.

The bad story is from The Department of Immigration. A colleague is emigrating to Australia and learnt just 3 days before his immigration that his visa hadn’t actually been approved. The staff dealt with him very well (after he waited over an hour in a call queue) and offered him advice on what he could do. Further investigation uncovered that he had actually completed the visa process and that it had been approved. Something had broken down in the process causing much hassle and stress. A thumbs up for the people but a huge technical and process glitch that DIAC are currently investigating. The punchline is that DIAC have recently spent millions on a shiny new CRM system…..

The ugly is a story also relating to passports, but this time it was the courier, TNT who gave a simply awful customer experience. My friend needed TNT to collect and deliver his passport to his work address at Sydney. TNT missed the due date for delivery. My friend rang them to be told that the courier turned up but that no-one was there as the office was closed. Probably because he arrived after hours! To avoid a repeat, my friend asked that the courier arrive before 9.30 next day and asked that the courier rang him on arrival to make sure he was let in should reception be unmanned. He was told it was impossible to guarantee a time (process) and impossible to ring a client directly as couriers don’t have phones!!!!(technology). On reiterating that it was essential that it was hand delivered, the agent abruptly told him that he had better be able to wait by the door to be sure to get it and then the agent promptly hung up on him (people). The punchline is that the courier arrived before 9.30 but left the package on the floor outside reception. The package was a passport. I was shocked by this terrible breakdown of technology, process and people.

The lesson is clear. Organizations like TNT will only survive in the 21st century by delivering quality services that deliver great customer experiences. To achieve this, they will need to employ customer centric staff, customer focussed processes and enable this with great technology.

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