It’s easy to write arsey letters of complaint (or moan about it on social media) when people get stuff wrong – but there’s loads of humans whom we deal with everyday, who are a pleasure to work with but rarely get credit for it.
Over the last few years, I’ve been trying to pass on positive feedback. Sure, it may not be fair if someone gets a positive note from a customer about just genuinely being nice, when there was also a time they went a long long way above the call of duty and got no credit for it, but hopefully this makes up for it.
Don’t get me wrong: I have shitty customer service experiences, but I feel it’s important to shout out about the great ones. If you think how many of the customer facing representatives have rubbish days, and think how many times they’re thanked in a more meaningful way than muttered words, then you can start to understand how a quick letter can brighten someone’s day. But it won’t just brighten one person’s day – “customer service departments” often is the name for “dealing with customer complaints departments” – even for the person whom you’re causing an extra email for, it’s an extra email they will enjoy receiving.
Think about giving it a go sometime – a few kind words that get through to someone’s manager could really make their day.
For me, it’s just about “Today you…. tomorrow me.”
I spend a lot of time on the train, and so frequently train companies have been my target:
Dear Mr Dobson
Thank you for your email dated 9 May 2013.
I was delighted to learn of your satisfaction with the level of service provided by a member of our staff of ScotRail. We have set ourselves high standards and I am glad these have met with your expectations. I will ensure that your comments are passed to the manager for the staff member concerned.
Thank you once again for your kind comments, it is always a pleasure to receive letters such as yours.
Thank you for contacting ScotRail.
(Simply a very helpful and friendly ticket office attendant – from my email “As they say on Ebay, ‘A*** Great seller, would buy from again!’”)
Dear Mr Dobson
Thank you for contacting us about your journey on 14 December 2012. I would like to thank you for your positive comments about the member of our staff who assisted you during the course of your journey.
Whilst we expect our staff to offer the very best possible service, it is always great to read when we have exceeded expectations, especially as I am fully aware that contacting us to provide feedback takes time and effort.
I have made the manager who is responsible for the member of staff concerned, aware of your contact so that they can pass on your kind words. We do have an internal GEM (going the extra mile) award programme and annual customer excellence awards, which also relies on passenger feedback.
I do hope that you did not experience a serious delay on your journey.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.
(A train trolley/person attendant who deescalated/comforted a teenage girl out of confrontation as her mother was thrown off the train, whilst continuing to try and serve tea/coffee)
Dear Mr Dobson
Thank you for contacting us about your journey on 18 June 2011. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience caused by the delay to your journey with us on board the 0846 service between Manchester Piccadilly and Windermere on this occasion.
The delay to your journey was caused as the result of a person being hit by a train on the line at Preston. As is policy with an incident involving a death on the railway the line was closed and the British Transport Police took control of the scene. Every effort was made by all concerned to reopen the line as quickly as possible, but First TransPennine Express had no direct control over how soon this happened. As a result of the line closure many of our services were disrupted. In addition some of our trains and staff were displaced from their scheduled location and other services across our network were consequently affected.
As you can appreciate, First TransPennine Express has no way of preventing an incident of this nature and as such, under the National Conditions of Carriage, compensation is not available for the resulting delay to your journey. Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience or distress the event may have caused.
I would like to thank you for your positive comments about the Driver of this service. We expect our staff to deliver the highest standard of customer care and it is always a pleasure to learn that we have achieved this. Any feedback we receive from our customers is important to us and I know it takes a great deal more time and effort to write and compliment any company than it does to pass on negative feedback.
I have made our Train Service Manager who is responsible for the member of staff concerned, aware of your contact so that they can pass on your kind words, which will also be used towards our Reward and Recognition programme.
(A train driver who clearly and honestly communicated personally with passengers why there was a slight delay, without pussyfooting around the issue – a delay in the circumstances was understandably unavoidable, but great communication improved the situation immensely.)