A plate of cheese
10 Jan 2019

A cheesy experience

Chas Goldring Manager - Continuous Improvement

Fantastic customer service always starts with the voice of the customer, the most important but often forgotten 1st principle of lean.

We have all been affected by both good and bad customer service and improvement projects are often started because the voice of the customer has become so deafeningly loud that we can’t help but respond to it!

One of the great aspects of Lean Six Sigma is that it always starts with what the customer wants and then translates into a valid project that is going to affect real change to our process to both improve the process and create real value to our customer.

When I think about great customer service I always remember my experience with buying some cheese many years ago in London at Neale’s Yard near Covent Garden.

Maybe it was the presence of Mrs G or more probably my son and I being too intent on following how Middlesbrough were doing against Millwall (we won 5-0) that led me to paying £50 for 2 pieces of cheese!

Paul and I were so excited about the result and that the Boro were on a good run that I didn’t really think about my mistake until I was on the tube heading back to where we had left the car.

Mrs G rolled her eyes in exasperation at my mistake and told me that was probably the last I had seen of my £50 and that she hoped I enjoyed the cheese (it was Brie…..a cheese she hates even the smell of).

So it was with a certain amount of despair that I sent an email to Neale’s Yard explaining the issue and how it had happened.

I was most surprised that I received an immediate response back for the manager (this was late Sunday evening) apologising for the error and offering an immediate refund which duly came. Now that is what I call excellent customer service and listening to the voice of the customer. And it has worked. That positive response always ensures I visit Neale’s Yard and have demanded that my eldest son buys the Christmas cheese from there for this year.

Has anyone else received a positive experience from their supplier which makes them return time after time?

Remember the 1st principle of lean; the voice of the customer and you won’t go too far wrong!


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