The birth of the no bullsh*t customer service policy
“The feedback that we constantly receive from customers is that they really appreciate our down-to-earth approach. We love the feedback, and we also find it sad that this is now actually worthy of comment – that customers find this approach so unusual they need to tell us about it. The response to this one simple aspect of our culture – a no bull approach – highlights to us the importance and advantage of strong and ethical leadership in today’s internet industry.”
– Managing Director Phillip Britt
In a rural town in the Latrobe Valley many years ago, a new internet service provider emerged. Led by Phillip Britt and John Reisinger, Aussie Broadband was born from the philosophy that regional areas deserved great internet service too.
The recipe for exceptional customer service
So, what makes up great quality service?
In one word: honesty.
People want the truth and Phil wanted the company to do the right thing.
“I really don’t like it when I think someone is spinning me a line; I would much rather hear the truth,” said Phil. “And that’s what I think customers want as well.”
So based on that philosophy, instead of telling customers what we think they want to hear, we tell them what’s really happening. We don’t bullsh*t.
From the beginning, the no bullsh*t policy has been a critical part of our company’s DNA.
We have always offered straight-talking service aimed at making life easier for customers.
Our call centre – based in the Latrobe Valley in Australia – does not use fancy technical terms, which helps make troubleshooting a success regardless of user ability. Our staff do not use scripts, other than those required for compliance reasons.
Plain English is our mantra, and everything we send to customers during their connection process is carefully written so that it’s easy to understand.
In a widespread outage, our team gets the word out fast via Facebook, email, and SMS to reach affected customers. We also provide updates as soon as they become available, so our customers are informed and aware, and we let customers know at the end of an outage why it happened, and what we’re doing to avoid outages in the future.
Outages are not a great situation, but we don’t pretend that they’re not happening.
We’ve taken the no bullsh*t approach a step further – we now publish our internet traffic graphs that monitor bandwidth and congestion daily on our website for all customers to check.
It’s not bullsh*t when we say we care more about our current customers’ quality of service than making a sale. We proactively monitor our bandwidth use and if we know there’s a wait on bandwidth upgrades in an area, and usage has reached 80%, we stop selling in that area with the aim to avoid congestion for existing customers. It’s a policy that probably loses us potential new customers, but we strongly believe it’s the right thing to do.
We have even developed an automated system to check new copper connections to ensure customers are on the best plan for them. Each customer receives an email within a day of the connection going live to advise them of their personal line sync speeds, and if they need to rethink which plan speed they have ordered.
It’s obvious that our approach to customer service is appreciated by not only our customers, but also by others. We’ve recently been named as a finalist in:
- The Australian Communications Industry Awards, in the “Commitment to Customer Service” category, and
- The Australian Service Excellence Awards, in the “Customer Service Organisation of the Year – Medium” category
We are both honoured and delighted and will strive to continue to provide excellent customer service to all our customers as we continue to grow.