by | Jan 15, 2015 | Digital, Twitter | 0 comments

By Deborah Wroe

Ah, the Christmas holidays, a fun time of visiting friends and families then a nice journey back home with everyone in high spirits warmed by mulled wine, full bellies and festive contentment. Not so for those trying to get from/to and around King’s Cross and Finsbury Park over the holidays with chaos abounding from overrunning engineering works, slow decision making and a lack of information to customers. Finsbury Park was trending on Twitter on 27 December with customers angrily tweeting their frustrations and trying to get information from a largely silent East Coast Trains.

The issue (being London), was heavily covered online but I honed in on one particular piece from the BBC and this “A woman trying to travel to Edinburgh said “not all of us are on Twitter – a real person telling us what’s going on would be nice.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-30607689

Good point, well made that lady.

According to Digital Research Network “there are an estimated 11 million in the UK who don’t have the digital skills to benefit from the online world, and nearly 7 million of these people have never been online before. What’s more, it’s those already at a disadvantage – through age, education, income, disability, or unemployment – who are most likely to be missing out.”

I had a period of being offline just before Christmas due to much delayed house move and ensuing delayed engineer appointments to install broadband, and my eyes were opened as to how much you are directed online by default for all customer service issues. Remember that stat – 11 million people do not have the skills to benefit from the online world. We are not at digital by default stage yet.

Me on phone “Can you tell me what day my bins are collected for this postcode please?”
Them “You can look on the website and download the app which tells you and reminds you”
Me “Can you just tell me as I am the phone and don’t have internet at the mo? And can you send me a flyer for my notice board to remind me”
Them “We don’t have any flyers”

Me “Can I give you a change of address please?”
Them “You can do that online through our change of address form”
Me “I don’t have access to the internet at the moment, can I just tell you?”
Them “Sorry no, it has to be done online”

And repeat to fade…

Not everyone is on Twitter. Not everyone is on Facebook. Not everyone has a Smartphone. Not everyone can access the services you provide in the way YOU want them to access them.

Make sure you know who your customers are, where your customers are and make sure you speak to them in a format they can access.