Not Listening To The Customer

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Not Listening To The Customer

  My wife Christine and I are off to Italy with four of our close friends. We often do at least one trip together overseas each year. For this trip, Christine had the job of doing all the organisation for the six of us.

It was fairly involved, for it included a coach trip, the best of Italy, plus a few days in Rome. (I’m hoping to catch up with Tim Fischer, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia. Tim is now Australia’s ambassador to the Vatican.) Then the six of us are off on a cruise to Valencia etc. Then we’re off to London for a few days. All in all, a lot of money. 

Now here comes the good part. Christine rang our travel agent in Melbourne to book it all. She had worked out all the dates for the tours, the hotels in Rome and in London, etc. Christine is very good at all of this. Well, the women on the phone at the travel agent insisted we come to Melbourne and have an appointment.

 We live three hours from Melbourne, and Christine pointed out that we’ve booked over the phone many times before. The woman on the phone would not listen. Christine asked if we could speak to the owner, whom we personally know. But she was overseas. What about the manager? He was busy.

The woman kept on insisting we had to make an appointment. Now, my wife is very quiet and doesn’t cause a fuss. She sent an email to the owner and then just went off and booked with the travel agent in Albury. The next day we had the manager contact us from Melbourne, plus the owner from overseas, but it was too late. Christine had booked it and the agent in Albury did a terrific job. 

We can all forget that we are in business to serve the customer. That is the only business we have. If you want to be a customer-driven business, you’ve got to listen to the customer. To the customer, the receptionist or salesperson is the business. So make sure you train them well. And always listen to the customer!