You know what it’s like … the seventh phone call to the support line and the seventh person who’s had to listen to the increasingly long story of woe. Why the need for seven calls to solve one problem? Surely that’s not good for customer satisfaction or efficient in terms of the call centre workload?

Well, I won’t bore you with why I had to make the other six calls to Virgin Media. Call number 7 was different and here’s why.

Ownership, promises and empowerment.

In the seventh call I still was no closer to getting the matter resolved with the urgency I knew it deserved. A six day wait to get my phone line back when they had cut it off was just not acceptable. So I asked to speak to the supervisor for the section and had to recount the story again, but this time the person I spoke to was prepared to take ownership of the issue. She said she personally would phone the manager of the teams out in the field, not just use the computer to find the next free date. She promised to phone back by 4pm at the latest with a progress report – in fact she phoned earlier than that with an update. Best of all, she was prepared to give me her personal mobile number, so I didn’t have to go through all the “Select option 2 to report telephone faults …” and so on, only to talk to a totally new person about my problem. Suddenly I felt more in control of the situation – I could contact someone immediately I needed an update or I had news. That felt really good – I was empowered.

Things then moved very quickly that day … within a few hours everything was sorted. I was able phone my contact, Christina Wright at Virgin Media, and tell her my phone was working!

Well done Ms Wright for the right way of doing things … and it wasn’t a new process or technical advancement that provided the solution. It was three simple steps that we can all take when helping others:

  • Taking ownership
  • Fulfilling promises made
  • Empowering the other person, by giving easy access

Not that difficult to do … but a certain recipe for customer retention and satisfaction.