Should company arrogance be exposed?
A particular news story caught my eye this week and it really cements my obsession when it comes to business development and customer service.
One of the smaller telco’s, Orcon, implemented a router and broadband package as a response to a service request. A bill was issued and normally that would be the end of the matter. Sadly not. The recipient rang up the service delivery team and tried to get the bill corrected as it seemed he was put on an incorrect package. Not hard to fix. By the way, this was back in 2012. The poor customer had many calls from Orcon saying they would fix it, however the action taken internally was completely different.
The collections department sent the matter of $138.90 to a debt collection agency and the client who happens to have a small family suddenly found himself unable to get any credit from anyone. He kept in contact with Orcon who kept saying they would fix it but didn’t.
Three years later, the court process made Orcon pay the sum of $25,000 to the man as compensation for the humiliation and distress caused by the arrogance of its organisation.
The fix was simple – credit the customer and put him on the right plan.
Do organisations actually act like Orcon? Sadly yes. Often the connection between sales, delivery and collections are so far removed from each other it can only generate a less than satisfactory response from its customers. How many times have you been sent an invoice reminder in the mail for something you paid on line a week earlier? Or been billed for the wrong product or service and tried to go through multiple departments to get it corrected?
In reality, it should be dead simple. Why do businesses overcomplicate it?
Was the court’s ruling in this case fair? Yes it was. Three years of a customer trying to communicate with the company to get it sorted and being told it would be fixed but never done and having his credit rating affected. The company has not issued any statement or apology to the man. And really the $138.90 plus $25,000 is just the apparent costs – what about all the time and hidden costs within the company of communication, responding to letters, enrolling debt collectors and associated fees over 3 years, certainly they did not spend too much on PR.
The result, company arrogance is a short term solution.
Orcon’s brand will suffer as this has reached the news and it will need to address the internal processes at its core. That piece is the simplest – get the right message to market, deliver on what you say you are going to do and if it’s wrong, fix it quickly and effortlessly.
So where does your organisation fit on the company arrogance scale? Can you afford to pay compensation? Or more importantly have your reputation slip?
And as always, love to hear your thoughts so leave them here.
Until next week,