We get a number of emails from customers following up on their experience of dealing with HearingDirect, as I am sure every other company must do. I cannot say that it is a “high” or “low” number as I do not have anything to benchmark the quantity against but I can say they are extremely welcome as they are in the most part very positive. One we received recently was enthusiastically relating how everything had worked to plan, how they had received good advice and how they were now enjoying sounds that they had not heard for a while. All good stuff. Then best of all, they went on to say that they were going to tell friends and family, recommending us to all and sundry – great stuff, referrals are very, very welcome. They closed by saying “I hope that HearingDirect never gets too big to care.”
Strange statement, as seconds earlier they were busy telling the world about us and then wishing for us to remain at our current size for ever! I can of course understand what the email is inferring. The personal service that we try to deliver is just that – personal. We do build relationships with our customers, whether by email, phone or letter. We do care that they either get to a satisfactory outcome or they get their money back knowing that we have tried everything possible to help.
However, there are 4 million people in the UK alone that according to research would benefit from a hearing aid. How many millions more are there that would also enjoy the positive benefits of an amplified phone they could hear on (here), an extra loud alarm clock that wakes them and any other products that are designed to assist those with hearing loss? HearingDirect has only just scratched the surface of these 4 million and so we would very much like to get significantly bigger by helping significantly more who may be inspired to write emails of thanks.
The challenge for us all at HearingDirect is therefore to grow without compromising our standards of care. We do not have a charter of care and we have not written down a care protocol. We have not ISO’ed or Quality Controlled our care. The way we operate and what we do comes from our personal desire to treat our customers as we would like to be treated.
We were interviewing recently and there was a very qualified lady who could have done the job standing on her head but we were not convinced that she understood what our customers mean to us. As tempting as it was to recruit her, we did not, as although we intend to get bigger, like the email we want to maintain our standards of care.
Have a very Happy Christmas, please keep in touch and if we get “too big to care”, you have my permission to remind me of this blog.