Thomson Holiday Blues
We normally use this space to talk about companies that are improving their customer service offerings, but this week it’s a customer service fail that’s making headlines in the UK.
After spending several thousand pounds on a trip to Mexico with UK travel operators Thomson, Briton Gemma Fish was extremely disappointed with a below par hotel room, and made a complaint to the travel company. She was moved to a new room, and although it was still short of what she expected, the holiday was not a complete disaster. But a month later, Fish received a series of abusive emails from Thomson including a (probably, in retrospect, sound) suggestion to “shut the **** up and book with Thomas Cook.”
Unfortunately for Thomson, the emails were soon making headlines in everything from the trade press to the Telegraph, and the Twittersphere lit up with the sounds of a thousand potential customers sharing their negative impressions of the company with their friends and followers. Among the ruckus, on Twitter @KevParker said: “Shockin customer service by Thomson Travel Agents. Reasons like this why I always book with @KuoniTravelUK.”
@KevParker’s tweet interested us - we know of travel companies that have implemented Net Promoter customer feedback systems that pay significant dividends in terms of improving customer satisfaction and driving innovation (TravelCounsellers and others), and we believe this would not have happened in those customer focused organisations.
Though it is not a stranger to customer service PR disasters, a spokesperson gave the usual line that “Customer service is of paramount importance to Thomson.” However, we’d like to cheekily (but seriously) suggest that if Thomson is indeed determined to pick up its customer service act, being inspired by Net Promoter companies like Kuoni and Travel Counseller’s lead may be a start. Daily Mail
IT innovators put care back in to healthcare
According to Dave Chase (boss of Avado, a business that has created a cloud-based patient management system) , doctors spend far too much time dealing with insurance companies, and time and expenses related to these processes mean that patients end up spending more on healthcare than they should.
However, thanks to a small group of disruptive trailblazers in the IT industry, costs associated with insurance will soon be slashed, and with them the overall costs of healthcare will drop for patients. Chase cites healthcare management startup Qliance as one of these businesses. Not only does Qliance’s product reduce the direct costs of healthcare by 20-40%, it has a very high level of satisfaction among its customers (reflected in its NPS). If the future of healthcare is more on patient care and less on patient paperwork, we like what we see. Forbes
In-App NPS is HERE
Apple recently endured criticism for its new mapping application in the latest release of iOS 6 for the iPad and iPhone, even prompting CEO Tim Cook to apologise and say "other apps are available". One of those mapping apps is HERE by Nokia, which was the first, and is also handily free, a price that is attractive to this reporter, and prompted installation on an iPhone 4S.
While the mapping itself seems efficient, our eyes were drawn to the invitingly bold "Feedback" button, which produced a familiar looking survey scale when pushed. In fact, credit to Nokia, who have turned out a creditable one-page Net Promoter survey embedded in their app. Seems you can only give feedback once a day, and there is no notification or reply back from the survey - however good to Nokia continuing their commitment to NPS (Net Promoter News passim).
It does look remarkably similar to the new CustomerGauge mobile survey, available on iPhone and Android. So perhaps Nokia were inspired by our previous work... We'll put this down to imitation/flattery etc. Explore the CustomerGauge survey here (view on mobile device to see what we mean)
SafeMart calls every customer, boasts a perfect 100
US home security specialist SafeMart has the distinction of being the first company reported on this year by Net Promoter News to claim a perfect NPS – that’s right folks, a score of +100.
While SafeMart appears to be a relatively small company and may have conducted the research internally (and indeed, sample sizes and methodology are absent from the release and online as far as we can see), one thing to note from the announcement is that the company claims it calls every single customer after a new sale or activation, just to ask for feedback and how they can improve. This process has apparently led to “major process improvements” that have boosted both loyalty and referrals. Melodika.net
- Princess Alexandra Hospital Trust has recorded the lowest score yet by any organisation on the UK’s Net Promoter-based friends and family test for the National Health Service (NHS). It has placed last for the last two months, despite being in the top five performing trusts for the first four months, leading to yet more questions about the soundness of the survey methodology. HSJ (paywall)
- Laser printer group Bradshaw has announced a self-reported NPS of +67. Bradshaw blog