Bank tests customer patience with burger van prank

5th May 2017

Telephone and internet retail bank First Direct has tested customer patience limits with a prank burger van in London.

The ‘automated’ service, actually voiced by someone hidden inside the van made it near impossible for a correct order to be made, before telling customers that had successfully chosen their food the nearest vendor was 5.6km away.

Zoe Burns-Shore, head of brand and marketing at First Direct, explains: “We’ve always been known for doing things a little differently at first direct, therefore we wanted to poke a little bit of fun at the status quo. Our award-winning knowledge of customer service means we also know what ticks our customers off – and we really pushed this to the limit with this prank with a service they just didn’t expect.”

The automated burger van was closed after just a few hours, being reopened with real First Direct employees and offering friendly and efficient service to customers.

The prank in London’s Spitalfield Market came off the back of new research from the bank revealing a good customer experience isn’t optional for businesses and brands anymore, as over three quarters of us (86 percent) expect great customer service as standard.

Crucially, the findings highlight the detrimental impact of one bad experience on a business, as one in three admit they would never engage with a brand or business again as a result.

In financial services, the research revealed, good customer service is the main driver of trust. The main way businesses can increase trust is through excellent customer serves, say 76 percent of respondents.

A study last year by The Institute of Customer Service revealed that unfortunately bad service is still a common occurrence in the UK, with one in six customers saying the have a poor experience every week.

It found that organisations will suffer if this trend continues, as 43 percent of consumers say they have purposely not bought a second product or service from an organisation, following a less than satisfactory experience.

Jo Causon, CEO of The Institute, says: “Excellent customer service is something we all demand and something we all expect, yet it is clearly not something we all see.  Anything less than the best service risks customers taking their business elsewhere and, in today’s uncertain economy, there are no organisations that can afford to take long-term customer relationships for granted.”

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