Up-selling – the negative impact on customer service experience.

  January 8, 2014       Martin Taylor

Should a company try to up-sell at every point of interaction with the customer? Everyday we come across many instances where we are expecting customer service but end up being sold to. Whilst this may seem like a great idea at first,  is this really the right way of retaining customers, increasing customer satisfaction and ultimately increasing revenue?

Here’s another blog from our customer service consultant – Martin Taylor who writes about his experience with dealing with a particular travel company and their take on ‘good customer service’…

In the – what seems like the distance past – I became animated enough as a result of a poor experience to put pen to paper on two counts;

  1. I penned a blog detailing my experience
  2. I e-mailed the firm with feedback – here is the blog

I feel that I vented enough on my blog to satisfy myself until today…

Before I get to that, allow me to refresh your memory of the experience. Myself, my wife and my little boy were travelling back from an extremely enjoyable family holiday in November. We boarded our flight early evening looking forward to a pleasant end to the holiday. What we received in terms of service completely and I mean completely took the gloss off the holiday.

Not only had the crew taken an oath of none helpfulness, we, the passengers (captive audience), were sold to first (blankets, duty free and tat) and then asked to fill in our ‘comments’ cards. I started to fill in the feedback form whilst enjoying a hot cup of coffee (Oh no, they had no hot water for the coffee!), yes, we had a great hotel, yes, we enjoyed excellent food, yes, we enjoyed great service at the hotel etc. etc.

One of the questions on the feedback form took me by surprise – when is my house insurance due? What income bracket do I fall into? How many cars in my household? What has any of this got to do with my holiday feedback???

This blatant invasion of my personal data coupled with the product pushes and the lack of coffee significantly impacted on my holiday experience.
Anyway, this was all done and forgotten until earlier today…

Whilst working from home, I received a call displaying the all familiar 0844 number. I answered prepared to explain for the umpteenth time that no, I haven’t had a trip or fall or no, I have no legitimate claim for PPI etc. She then went on to explain that she was calling in response to my e-mail…

…my e-mail of November 2013!

This is service?

It transpired that they had been very busy. I asked her whether she thought it was acceptable to receive a call after all this time and she declined to answer. I further asked why my renewal date on my home insurance was valid had any bearing on the quality of my holiday – her response was…
“There is an opt-out box on the feedback form” – I think she was maybe missing the point.

Finally, I asked what her view of this call would be if she was the customer and she agreed (begrudgingly) that actually she may feel that my feedback via e-mail wasn’t treated with the sense of urgency that it should have been.

Rant over…this got me thinking. When was the last time any of us actually tested our own company to check our response rate on comments that come in from customers?

I have delivered ‘mystery shopping’ studies in the past with illuminating results that ALWAYS drove a lot of change initiatives so maybe it’s a good time (New Year and all) to challenge your own company and the experience that your customers have.

If you would like an independent view, why not ask us to help? We are London based Salesforce Consultants who have a number of years working on Salesforce Service Cloud implementations.