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CX Heroes and Villains: one winner and many losers

Put your energy into CX not high prices

HEROES: Kansas shop staff track down $1m lottery winner

I loved this story from the USA.  Shop staff at Pit Stop convenience store were praised for their integrity after they went out of their way to find a customer who had left a winning lottery card (bought elsewhere) in their store.

Originally, the customer asked the staff to check two cards, both of which were losing ones.  Only after the customer left, did Andy Patel notice that the customer had left a third card on the counter.  On checking, Andy discovered that the card flashed up on the screen as a $1m winning card.

Andy called in his boss’s son Kal Patel (no relation) and Kal leapt into his car to see if he could find the recently departed customer.  This did not work, but Kal thought he knew the customer, from Andy’s description and went out searching again.  He spotted the customer, leaving his house with his brother, and told him the good news.

At first the customer could not believe this was happening and then started to shake with disbelief and gratitude.

Kal and Andy have been widely praised for their integrity and their efforts to trace the customer. Kal says “virtue has been its own reward, the praise we got from everyone for doing this has been very nice”.

We hope that Pit Stop’s business is also up as a result of the publicity.

VILLAINS: the energy big six – not one of their tariffs in 100 cheapest Deals on Offer

Yes, not one of the six major UK energy forms can boast an entry in the list of the best household tariffs.  Despite dominating the market and having, by far and away, the highest number of customers, they are unable to demonstrate that a large client base enables them to improve their competitive pricing.

With 75% of the market, they are unable to offer economies of scale to reduce prices and, as I have recorded previously, their customer service is not so hot either!

The public’s disinclination to switch suppliers has, until now, enabled the big six to carry on regardless but there are some strong competitors out there – maybe comparatively small players right now but with better prices and better service.  How long before the situation changes? When it does, it could be dramatic.

More energy

Comparing these two – albeit disparate – stories, I’d say that in terms of brand value the benefits of putting energy into customer experience vastly outweigh the benefits of putting effort into a poor energy proposition.

Don Hales

Having successfully built two major businesses using great customer service as his USP (long before it was fashionable), Don launched the National Customer Service Awards in 1998. Right from the start this event attracted over 1600 diners to the award event each year and Don started to use the stories as best practice examples to fuel his live presentations. Today as Chairman of Awards International – a leading awards company, operating in several countries and International Advisor to the Customer Experience Foundation, he remains an in-demand speaker on an international basis. He is joint author (with Derek Williams) of “Wow! That’s What I Call Service” and welcomes contributions to his “Customer Experience Heroes & Villains” series of articles. Now in his mid-70s, Don retains his enthusiasm and belief in the benefits of great service as a key business differentiator.