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Service-Ability: Create a Customer Centric Culture and Achieve Competitive Advantage by Kevin Robson

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10

CLARITY OF PURPOSE

An encounter, just a few years ago, with that world-famous carrier, Amtrak, serves perfectly to set the scene for this chapter. There could be few better examples of organizations losing their way – losing sight of their raison d’être – and it prompts us to reflect on the attitude to customer service many large organizations have. Here is the exchange of correspondence to set the scene:

‘ – – Original Message – –From: Kevin RobsonSent: 21 November 2007 16:22To: QualitySubject: Complaint of poor serviceI should be grateful if someone could contact me urgently by phone with a view to resolving a problem I have with delivery of a consignment.Kevin Robson”

And the reply (file this, frame it, dwell on it, inwardly digest it, hang it on your office wall; above all, please learn from it as to how not to deal with a customer):

‘Amtrak: Registered Office: Netfold Ltd, Northgate Way, Aldridge, West Midlands, WS9 8ST. Company Registration Number: 6051125Dear ConsigneeThank you for your recent email. Your comments have been duly noted and, if deemed necessary, will be acted upon accordingly.May we take this opportunity to request that, as a recipient of an Amtrak delivery, you direct any further questions or queries to your supplier. They will then deal with any issues through their direct contact within Amtrak.Yours sincerely’

‘Dear Consignee.’ (So do I not have a name then?) ‘If deemed necessary’ (… Err?) In other words ‘Get lost, we don’t see you as a customer, we ...

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