Think for a moment when a really big company has an oops moment that effects the masses on a large scale.
Then after the really big company finds the fault and begins resolving it, a spin doctor quickly gets on the hustings calming the farm as it where and engaging its large client base usually through social media and news sites, exclaiming those simple words “we apologise for any inconvenience this event may have had on you”
How does that effect you ?, do you feel all is better now that those words have been uttered made to make it feel like they are really talking to you personally simply because you were effected ?
Then often these really big companies will sweeten the deal with something appearing “Free” for a limit time often causing demand to fly through the roof.
Ever notice no one ever analyses or investigates what these sweeten the deal events actually do? Some times we are told record numbers take advantage of these sweeten the deal events with an absolute lack of any one questioning this aspect of the exersize.
Telstra recently had record levels of data usage in one of the these sweeten the deal events, does that mean the network can handle far more data then is usual, or does that mean that data charges would be lowered and profits could still me made. The media remains silent on this
Now lets take a far more smaller company and lets throw in a smaller clientele base as well.
Wednesday March 30, 2016 for this example at 2:30 pm on a fairly warm autumn afternoon nothing really exciting happening on the news front a visit to the local club a quick flutter of 5 dollars on the pokies and maybe a bowl of Gems and Gravy sounds like a nice way to relax.
The people that frequent here are usually your the 40’s plus group with a scattering on 20 and 30 somethings amongst the mix and generally most you could not speak ill of, they are friendly and courteous
Not at lot of people at the venue certainly not packed by any measure. A package in a white bag was placed next to the pokie machine I begin my play session on the machine and alas not much really happening on that machine either a bit like the day as a whole.
A quick dash to another machine close by not thinking of the package at all and not much happened on that machine either and not even spending more then half of the 5 dollars inserted, it dawned on me that i left the package at the other machine no more then 2 metres away.
I went back to collect it and it was gone and no one appeared to be anywhere nearby.
I gasp for a moment trying to collect my thoughts, played out my game and took my card.
Naturally next stop is off to the front counter and asked if any one had brought a package in a while bag to the counter – by the attendant the rather puzzled answer was no.
Going outside for a moment then returned in to the cashier and asked them if any one had dropped in a package in white bag, they also said no.
They asked what happened and i gave them a timeline and at the end of this discussion they happily stated “ohh we have video cameras every where, give us a moment to see what they picked up” stay in the club and we will let you know.
With a bit of a smile on my face feeling like they actually cared for an unexciting day i figured i may as well have those Gems and gravy while they investigate this.
Going up stairs & heading straight to the point of sale noting some technician was working on cables, wires and equipment. it was apparent the till was out of action and making my order was just not going to happen.
Looking that the floor a mangled sticky tape dispenser in several pieces like some battle had occurred and the dispenser came out second best and the best thing for it was to have it rescued from the floor to a much more fitting location hopefully with a resurrection in mind, thoughtfully brought all its pieces to the counter for the cashier to end up proceeding to sit down and read the newspaper.
After 10 minutes reading the newspaper noting nothing really much happening in its contents much like the rest of the day I decided to order.
Finally getting the cashiers attention the order was being negotiated, and was asked would you like sauce or gravy they are 50 cents extra. Puzzled “this was new” never heard of charging extra for condiments before. I asked when did that start, “Today with a big smile” the cashier informed me .
This certainly is not like any other day and inform the cashier “No thank you”and with that decided how wrong that experience was only to then be met by the investigating team on my earlier incident could this experience get any better?.
The team informed me, ” we know the man we can clearly see he had a beer saw the package looked around quickly and picked it up drinking his beer putting it down and leaving the establishment” . “We apologise but there is not much we can do”
Well that is it, there it was the apology and the qualifier there is not much they will do about it. Like a chess board game checkmate and rather dispondantly I went down stairs knowing their final word seemed to put any other argument to rest.
The “we apologise” bit got to me, a lot like the Big Company scenario I spoke about earlier and on the fly decided enough was enough went to the front desk the friendly staff asked how did i go regarding my earlier misfortune.
With a smile and cheerfully i passed them my card and pleasantly told them this is the last time I ever walk in to your establishment, here is my membership card keep it as i don’t need it anymore – Have a nice day and left.
That was yesterday and reflecting on those words “we apologise” appears as empty, no matter the size of the company nor the person telling you.
When a company or its representative apologise they do it usually with out any empathy with except how it will effect the sheer dollars coming in and this is despite whether there is any any gifts or sweeten the deal events. The same empty feeling still remains.
In the end I know i have the upper hand because just when they need me the most sometime in the future they wont have my support. I may only be one number but if people all took this attitude. Together silently all of us would have a huge effect on the very companies that take us for fools and relying on the hollow empty words “we apologise”
Its worth thinking about as customers may not know this but they are always right in business and that is a powerful tool as consumers