Customers expect high levels of service at all stages of their relationship with a business, from the initial purchase to after sales care.  If things go wrong, they also expect a prompt response to the problem.

Last week RBS Group experienced a major computer system failure which lasted several days.  This left thousands of customers in RBS, NatWest and Ulster Banks without access to their money.  Some experienced missing salary and wage payments, while others were unable to pay rent or mortgage repayments.  (BBC, 25th June 2012)

In response to the problem, the Group opened branches on Saturday and Sunday as well as extending opening hours for a fifth day on Monday to help clear a backlog of work.  The bank doubled the number of call centre staff to deal with problems and complaints. RBS also stressed that customers who have incurred extra costs because of the computer problem would not be left out-of-pocket.

For Morrisons, one of the UK’s leading supermarket chains, its focus on providing a quality experience for its customers, alongside its emphasis on fresh produce, is a key factor in differentiating its service from competitors.

Through training and development, Morrisons aims to ensure that its customers receive the highest levels of service.  This goes across all aspects of the business from providing clear and accurate information and ensuring supporting services like car parking and easy access meet requirements to delivering specialist attention from trained food experts.

Taking the leading on reassuring customers, RBS Group’s Chief Executive, Stephen Hester posted a direct apology on RBS’ website. He said: ‘Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened.’

Examples of the costs the bank is expecting to bear are customers’ extra telephone calls and penalties for late payment of credit card bills.  RBS has also promised to work directly with credit agencies to ensure no one has their credit score affected, if, for instance, the bank failed to make a credit card payment on time.

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