Community Spirit or Cynical Business Development?


We live in an impatient society where if something isn’t immediate then somehow our customer experience is negative, yet the British are really quite good at choosing somewhere like Spain for a holiday destination where we positively embrace the manana attitutde and laugh off the fact that the rep who said he’d arrive at 10.30 never showed at all!

We don’t mind the lack of queuing and the free-for-all at every ice cream parlour, because it’s all part of the atmosphere despite the fact that if you jumped a queue in the UK you’d live in fear of your life.

So I was really disheartened, for the second time this week, to walk into my local Post Office to see the staff down at mouth after a succession of unreasonable customers.

The staff at the Garstang Road, Fulwood branch could not be more helpful, more friendly and more on the case if they tried. Since newroomsonline started, VC, the boss, has always forewarned us of every conceiveable price increase, delay, unforeseen glitch that he could. He knows that we try to use as much recycled packaging as we can and collects boxes for us.

The general ambience inside is bubbling with chatter and there’s a sense of real community that you don’t really feel elsewhere out and about. And I’m sure that their efforts to make my business run more smoothly are not cynical gestures to grow their own business, I’m sure it’s a genuine sense of wanting the best for everyone.

Similarly I do some freelance work for Business Link NW every so often, keeping my hand in on event management and marketing, and another case in point. I hear people knock Business Link, when in terms of the good help and support I’ve had I can’t complain. Aside from the broker help, I casually mentioned newroomsonline while walking past the IT crowd one afternoon. I spotted a great shaped box (yes I AM a packaging geek!) and asked if it was to be skipped because it was perfect for putting Jordi Labanda pens within!

Jordi Labanda Black Jewel Limited Edition

Ever since they have saved every last box and sheet of bubble wrap for me, engaging too, the whole of the marketing department and the facilities manager who all ask me what I’d like before they skip anything! Surely that’s business support beyond your expectation?

And that’s the point, isn’t it? It’s customer expectation. Do we all deliver what you expect and do we as retailers have a right to expect a certain measure of positive user experience from our customers in return?

I have long since held the opinion that everyone should be made to work with the general public in a customer facing role for a period of time,  just so that we’re all aware how to behave!

I’m very lucky that in four years I’ve had only one person complain beyond acceptable reason – about a parcel which arrived in Milan battered beyond description, the contents utterly destroyed. I can only sympathise when this happens but it does happen. All we can do is offer a replacement or refund – what we don’t expect is an earful of abuse about how we don’t care, how overseas is somehow out of mind and how I, personally, must therefore be some daughter of the dark side! I kid you not.

If we do fail you with our customer service, please let us know. As a small business we can’t afford to offend, let you down or deter you from coming back to us. Equally if we do something right, please tell us because it makes us smile!


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