How to Deal with Customer Complaints

The Highways Agency (the people responsible for the state of the UK’s roads) have announced a plan to save money. You can read about it here.

Currently if a member of the public complains about a pot hole on a major road the Highways Agency are duty bound to repair it (throw on a couple of shovels full of Tarmac and flatten it).

They have instigated a new rule. If the pot hole is smaller than a soup bowl then they won’t bother. Technically a soup bowl is 4cm deep by 15cm wide. By avoiding the work they will avoid the cost.

This begs a number of questions:

  1. Are they currently filling every hole? Or just everything bigger than a tea cup?
  2. Who agreed to the change in specification? Will I see a fall in my road tax bill in return?
  3. How will they know if it is 4cm by 15cm without going to look at it?
  4. If they go and look and it is smaller, will they then ignore it?
  5. What happens next winter? Won’t the freeze thaw make the holes bigger?
  6. What happens when a lorry goes over the pot hole?
  7. Is it cheaper to fill big holes next year than small holes this year?

I won’t pretend to be a civil engineer. I don’t know the answers. Clearly it is senseless to send a lorry full of Tarmac to fill a tea spoon sized hole and maybe a soup bowl is the right size to worry about.

I do worry though. If a customer complains about something, avoiding the issue is probably not the best strategy.

Sticking your head in the sand won’t make it go away.

How to deal with Customer Complaints

Image by katclay

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Comments

  1. Michael Thompson says:

    I don’t see my road tax dropping either

  2. I am not sure it s this simple is it? There must be an optimum point. I think that for most service delivery issues need to think about what the optimum is. Where do you balance cost against customer service?

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