Sorry for Any Inconvenience

So can someone explain to me when this simple phrase became a carte blanche license to totally screw your customers over without taking any responsibility?

I have recently been re-scheduled for a Dr’s appointment for the 3rd time. This last time I was given less than 24 hours notice. If I were to do that to my Dr, I would be charged a fee for the appointment. It apparently seems OK for them to do that to me without any form of compensation other than “Sorry for the Inconvenience”.

I have long been a proponent of public health care and have not had the experiences that many people claim to have for long wait times and bad service. On the contrary, I have almost always had exceptional service and care from the nurses and Dr’s that have treated me and my family. We are all entitled to a bad day so I attribute the few occasions where a care professional was not as friendly as I would have liked to them just having such a day.

All this being said, simply re-scheduling an appointment and arbitrarily choosing a new date and time is NOT convenient and I DON’T accept you ‘apology’ for the inconvenience.

Mr Dr, When I choose a date and a time to make myself available that aligns with your schedule, I keep my commitment and arrange any subsequent meetings, appointments, etc around this time.

Mr Dr, it is not the most convenient journey for me to come to your office but for the sake of my health and to keep marital bliss, I make the time and commitment. Is it too much for you to do the same?

This goes for all the other services and companies that feel it’s OK to make changes to appointments, schedules, terms and conditions, etc…

IT’S NOT OK!

Your responsibility to your customers is the key differentiator between you and your competition. If you choose to screw over your existing customers for your convenience then expect to lose customers to your competitors.

In today’s economy and the growing competitive nature of many businesses, you cannot afford to be so glib and careless with the most valuable source of your survival.

Too often, companies and services forget that the very customers that they take for granted are the lifeblood of the organization and without them they would cease to exist.  It’s time for consumers to bring back the old adage ‘Customer is KING’ and brand it on their forehead for all to see.  There are good reasons why small local businesses stay in business year after year even when faced with stiff competition from major corporations.  These small businesses understand who they are there to serve and they make damned sure that they treat their customers with the utmost respect and dignity.  It’s what pays the bills.

Next time you feel that you are not getting the service or the product that you are paying for, SPEAK UP!  You will continue to be dis-satisfied unless you make a change.

Gotta go now.  The Dr’s office is calling to re-schedule.

Striving for Change

Last week I had the opportunity to do an Ignite presentation that the Phase 2 launch of MEIC where I was talking about Operator Developer Networks.  To most, a talk about developer networks is a pretty dry subject but my goal was to illustrate that there is opportunity to effect a positive change within the Canadian operator community.

I work for Rogers in a strategy role where I have an opportunity to be a change agent and I feel pretty fortunate to be in such a role.

The gist of the presentation was that we as operators must do more to help developers be successful.

  • We must enable access to network capabilities through easy to use abstraction layers.
  • We must stop treating developers like second class citizens and relegating them to the cesspool.
  • We must provide developers with a mechanism that enables easy access to these enablers and not place undue burden on them if they want to explore.
  • We must provide information that helps them understand the services that are available and examples of how to use them.
  • We must provide tools to developers that help them become successful in business and show them ways to create and grow a business.
  • We must provide ways that allow a developer to become a partner in business and empower them to explore new ways of generating income for their business.
  • Operators must work together to enable intercarrier functionality that will help drive uptake of new services and create new opportunities.

The crux of all this is that Operators need to change.  They have traditionally been seen as stodgy, outdated and disconnected from the very subscribers they serve.  Believe me when I say that there is far more concern for the happiness of the consumer than operators get credit for.  Operators don’t make it any easier with the customer ‘experiences’ that are often had during calls to client care but that does not mean they are not trying.  There’s still room for improvement for sure.

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to speak with some developers about the changes that I’m discussing here and the response has been consistent. “Really??!” “You guys??!” “I never thought I’d see that”  Basically developers have been shocked to hear that we are working to effect this change.

I have included the presentation below.

Please let me know your thoughts in Comments.

Chris