Under Promise and Over Deliver

Building a better business means over-delivering on your promises. Two experiences this week showed not every business follows that mantra.

Under Promise and Over Deliver

Let me make it clear from the outset, this is a personal anecdote about bad experiences with two different businesses during the past week.

The first is Telstra. One of Australia's biggest companies has customer service that must be one of the worst.

I've been a Telstra customer for decades. First land line phones, then mobiles and now Internet. In the past, if there has been a problem, it might be a frustrating wait but you could always get some help by calling them.

That's no longer the case. If you dial their support line, you receive a warning message about Corona virus causing delays and then no matter what menu choices you select, you are told to download their app.

It's complete nonsense for them to blame Coronavirus for their shocking customer service. It's just an excuse to save money by closing down their offshore call centres and try to convince people that terrible customer service isn't their fault.

So you download the app to find you can't do what they promise you can. You then send them a message via the app (which is also what they ask you to do) and it either doesn't go through or is responded to by a bot.

The bot tells you to use the service on the app!

A circular waste of time but one which made me determined never, ever to use them again. I am now in the process of closing down all my Telstra accounts and taking them to a company that actually wants my business.

For the record I am taking my internet to Internode.

They actually have people who answer the phone and help you with your requests. The best thing is they aren't located in some far off country so it's easy to understand them!

The second gripe relates to our current house move.

Moving house is much harder when the removalist  you booked decides not to turn up. We have used this company multiple times before and have been very happy with the experience. That's why we booked them again.

However, this morning my wife sent a confirmation text to make sure everything was proceeding as scheduled only to be told he had to cancel.

Now I understand there are some circumstances where you need to cut small business some slack. Things happen outside of their control and some compassion and understanding can go a long way.

However, if a business knows 24 hours before a scheduled job that they won't be able to do it, they should (at the very least) contact their client to tell them.  That's not only common courtesy but it is also good business practice.

I guess we are fortunate that we left plenty of time before settlement to begin the move. It was tough given the time constraints but we found an alternative company to help us. I cannot see us ever using the former company again and I suspect we'll tell hundreds of people how they let us down.

These two experiences remind me of why it is always better to under promise and over deliver.

Managing expectations and leaving people pleasantly surprised will always be better business practice than the alternative.

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