The value of good service?

I am writing this whilst spitting tacks (quite a feat I can assure you).

The reason I am spitting tacks is due to poor customer service from one of our beloved brands – Mini.

We have recently bought a Countryman – you know, the minis on steroids – and it was time for it to have a service.

As I live in Wells, which is a Mini garage black spot, I decided the best plan was to have my car picked up from a client’s premises in Bristol where I would be working for the day.

Car was duly picked up by the garage.

I heard nothing from the garage so at 4pm I phoned to check when I would have my car back. No problem, the car was on it’s way, I was told, should be 15 minutes.

So I packed up my bits so I would be ready when the car arrived.

¾ of an hour later – no car. So I phoned again and was told the car was delayed and would be a further half an hour. On further questioning, I am told that actually the car hadn’t actually left the garage and couldn’t do so because someone had gone off with the keys, so it couldn’t be delivered until they returned.

I am now left with the prospect of sitting outside my client’s (they have all gone home) waiting a further who knows how long. Rush hour traffic is building and home seems a long way away!!

So, what could Mini have done differently to make my experience better?

Well, firstly, they could have been much more careful about who they gave the keys of my car to so that once they had identified the problem they could have fixed it much more quickly.

Secondly, they could have done more to ensure I was apprised of the situation. Instead of wasting a couple of hours waiting for them, I could have got on with work.

Finally, of course, after wasting 2-3 hours of my time they could offer a discount against a future service.

Customer service is not just about the core job you do. It is about the whole experience a customer has with you.

I am sure Mini have done a perfectly good job of servicing my car but that is not what I, as the customer, will remember and tell my friends about.

Rant over!!

Fiona 🙂

P.s As a follow up Mini did offer me a meal to the tune of £100 as recompense – which I can report my family thoroughly enjoyed.

A little (more) help from my friends

I have blogged several times about conferences but this blog is focussed slightly differently from the others.

I was co-chair of the CIMA MiP conference a couple of weeks ago and I have to say it went better than I could have expected.

We had excellent speakers and Kate Gibson (Kate Gibson Events), who organises the liaison with the hotel and books the evening entertainment, did a fabulous job as usual.

We also had a super team on the CIMA staff and BPP who sorted out the bookings and did much of the admin.

But what made conference such a success is that it really was a team effort. The conference is run by and for MiPs – no one apart from the staff and Kate run events on this scale as their day job.

I was really gratified that so many delegates were happy to pitch in and help – whether it was introducing speakers, offering to be mentors or just sharing their experiences and knowledge.

In particular, the MiP panel committee members were stars doing much more than their fair share.

All this meant that the conference – the most stressful thing I think I have ever done and I am still catching up on the sleepless nights – went without a hitch.

Thanks to everyone.

I am so glad I did it as it stretched my comfort zone, which I think is something we should all do regularly.

Fiona 🙂