Just how hard is it to listen to what I am saying? It appears to be extremely difficult for some people. Take a customer that phoned me a few days ago.
‘I’ve had a letter from you about the plumbing and drainage cover. Well, I’ve already got this cover. So why are you sending me a letter about it?’
‘You haven’t got the plumbing and drainage cover Mr…, but you do have the cover on the fresh water supply pipe. That’s a different cover.’ I told him.
‘Yes. That’s right. The cover I’ve got covers the internal plumbing.’
‘No it doesn’t. The one you’ve got covers the outside fresh water supply pipe. The plumbing and drainage policy covers the internal plumbing and the sewerage system. It’s £…’
‘So I’ve got the internal plumbing covered.’
‘No. You haven’t.’
‘What’s the price for the sewerage pipe?’
‘£… for the first year introductory cost, and the current second year price is £…’ I answered.
‘So it’s £…for the first year and £…thereafter.’
After about ten minutes I managed to get through to him.
Or how about a customer that phoned in today.
‘What type of property is it, Mrs…?’
‘It’s in the middle.’ She told me.
I’ve mentioned this subject a few times about people who go on the net and then ring us for the information that is right in front of them, or ring us asking about a product and then not listening to what we are saying. It’s a very common occurrence and very annoying. I had a very nice lady doing exactly this a few days ago.
It normally takes about 10 minutes to set up a policy. This particular one took over 45 minutes. Not because it was a difficult policy or because there was too much information for me to give out. No. It took ages because the customer hadn’t bothered reading the information on the net – where she saw the policy – and hadn’t decided whether she wanted excess or no excess. In fact she changed her mind 3 times during the call. She also asked many questions – all of which were answered on the web.
I managed to keep myself calm and patient throughout the call. This is quite an achievement for me. I have very little patience with people who are lazy or thick. Several times I had to say to her ‘..no, I didn’t say that…’ and then repeat what I’d said, because she clearly wasn’t listening to my answers when she asked a question. For an example of how the call went throughout the 45 minutes, I told her the payment options and said there was no further charge whichever way she chose.
‘I want to pay monthly. Is there any further charge?’ She asked.
I was very glad when I had finished the call.