I was catching up on some blogs recently when I came across the article "Now that’s what I call service!" by Mike Taylor. Mike received some outstanding service from his local pub when he mistakenly left change behind. As an exponent of the Fish! Philosophy I can related to the idea that a business would want to "delight its customers" in this way.
His story reminded me of the differences in service I experienced earlier this year during the migration of our two phone lines when we moved offices.
We have one line for voice, and the other for internet, each provided by one of the two major telecommunication carriers in Australia. As such, migration was to be simply installation of a suitable line at our new office and termination of the existing line. Of course these things never go smoothly but it was the approach to customer service that surprised me.
When I wanted an update, or had an issue with the line Telstra was responsible for, I had to ring their support line, battle through the "voice recognition" system, explain to the person what we were doing, why it wasn't right, etc, then wait for a response. Everytime I did this I had a new person so the process was repeated.
Optus however allocated me an account migration manager and I was given their direct number. At any time I could call her up and she'd be able to give me an update, or get back to me with one if she didn't have details to hand.
Compared to the experience with Telstra, having one person to talk to with Optus greatly improved the process for me. This simple difference resulted in the customer service experience with Optus being a "delight" and contributed to a less stressful migration of their line than Telstra.