So, after the previous post on a seminal Frankenstein company, the question is: are the any non-Frankenstein companies around…?
Yes, in my personal experience, as a consumer, there are. Not very many, but a handful, and a couple of them perhaps a bit surprising to you.
First of all, let me immediately state that the ratio of non-Franky companies is much much higher in small businesses – such as family run restaurants – asop to global business giants.
It makes sense: a small family run business, such as a restaurant or corner store, is totally dependent on their repution, their income is from repeat business from customers who easily can take their business elsewhere, to the restaurant or shop in the next corner.
There are many examples of non-Franky businesses, with great service, in my local community, e.g. the Gateau coffee shop, or the “Pressbyrån” shop, or even the local town hotel, Waxholms Hotel – all of these businesses are small enough to understand that if they p*ss off any of their limited set of potential customers, they are going to suffer.
But there are also, in my experience, a selected handful of large companies, who have understood that great customer service is essential for survival. Some of the companies below might surprise you by being on my “non-Frankie”-list:
– Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) : I’ve been a frequent customer of SAS since late 80-ies, and despite them having had many hard times, finacially, they have never failed to deliver at least adequate service to me, and most of the time, good or even excellent service.
It’s amazing, but whenever I’m far away from home, on a different continent, as soon as I get to the SAS check-in, I’m totally convinced that everything now further on will work out ok, my travel hazzels are now over.
– Apple Store : I had my first encounter with Apple store about 6 months ago, and I was simply flabbergasted over the level of service and focus on customer value that I got there, despite the fact that my purchase was very limited, a new iPhone… The staff was extremely helpful, they even offered to migrate all the data from my old phone without any charge, and even offered to provide free classes on how to operate various Apple products. If and when I’m to buy any new IT-technology, Apple Store will be my first and only choice.
– Handelsbanken : much can be said about banks and their greed, but I must say that the service provided by Handelsbanken is excellent – in particular, their customer service department is excellent, I’ve called them several times, and always got excellent service within a few minutes, no long sessions with “your call is placed in queue, you are #150 in line, estimated waiting time is 145 minutes…”.
– Eon, the power utility giant : I’ve been a customer of Eon for some 10 years. The heating system of my house is electrical, and thus, I pay a lot to Eon each year, particularily for the winter months. For some time ago, during a very cold winter, I by mistake payed my quartely electricity bill to the wrong recepient, another company starting with “Eo*” that I had in my internet bank. And since it was the quarterly bill over the winter, the sum was substantial. So, Eon did not get their money, but instead of sending me a repeat bill with interest and a threat to sue me, they called me and said “sir, we are well aware that you’ve always paid your bills in time, is there a problem this time we can help you with…?”
So, there are “non-Frankies”, primarily in small scale businesses, but also in a few large ones. Whenever you find a “non-Frankie”, make sure to give them your business, even if the cost is slightly higher, because without them, you are soon going to be exclusively served by the true Frankies, who have no interest in your customer experience….