A&A have high standards internally, and aim to provide the best technical support we can (as a very technical ISP) and obviously provide good customer services.
This target is a tad vague and not one that is easy to measure. The best measure of success is the glowing reports we get on thinkbroadband and ispreview.
The fact we have a couple of less than glowing reports on ispreview has sparked much discussion in the office to try and work out if we did anything wrong. I could go in to details, but someone not reading invoices and not knowing the VAT rate changed is difficult to address, as is someone that has an objective to take us to ADR "to waste our time" and not actually trying to resolve a dispute. Even so, we want to work out if we could have handled these cases better.
It is tricky to have objective targets for "customer service". You have to always be careful what you measure as you end up with a machine to make good measurements and not actually do what you want.
I have generally been happy to work on this vague target and look carefully at feedback rather than trying to make specific measurements.
Of course, we have a separate target we work to in terms of "did we do something wrong" which is the agreed contract terms. If we met the agreed terms we have done what we agreed - everything above doing that is an internal target we have.
But should ISPs and telcos be required to work to some higher standard - some customer service target that we are expected to meet, and penalised if we do not meet it?
I assumed not. I assumed it would be down to ISPs to do business in an open market and those that have poor customer service (whilst still doing what they agreed) would simple have less business as people are prepared to pay for good customer service.
Yesterday I went over all of the ADR stuff yet again, providing details for our MP, who is interested in pursuing the matter. I realised that the whole ADR case only makes any sense if there is some "higher standard" of customer services that we are, as an industry, expected to meet. After all, they agreed we were not in breach of contract and all the "shortfalls" were failures to meet some unspecified and unknown targets that they have invented.
So we'll try again and ask them what these standards are exactly?
How do we measure them and so ensure we meet them?
What is the prescribed penalty for failing to meet them in various ways?
Only if we know this can we sensibly work in this business environment. We can't have unknown standards with unknown penalties.
Lets see what they say...
In the mean time, we'll stick to our aim of being the best we can.