Saturday, November 4, 2017

A few things that bugged me this week!!!

I was visiting some sheep studs in the North Island to buy a good stud ram. We travelled 1500 kilometres in three days, so it was a bit of mission

When your business is selling rams, the adage "the customer is always right" comes into play. So you can imagine how I felt when we had an appointment with a breeder at 11am, only to find he wasn't there. Nor were there any rams in the yards. We tracked him down through text messages, just to be told to stay where we were and he would come. We waited an hour, and no one showed.

Unless someone died in his family, not only was this incredibly bloody rude but it epitomised the attitude of a lot of business people these days. I try to accommodate the client no matter how inconvenient it might be, but this attitude is prevalent in all forms of business these days. It is like they are doing you the big favour, when in fact it is the other way around.

Next was a need to call the fertiliser co-operative Ballance. I rang their 0800 number and waited 12 minutes before someone answered the phone. My first question was how many people were on the team - it was appalling to have to wait so long. This was something that is not unique to Ballance -  Ravensdown and other companies these days seem to accept equally long delays for their customers.. But go back two years, and you could almost always get through immediately (unless it was the IRD).

I know companies want to cut costs, but given that my experience is not unique these days, they need to consider where the right balance is. Too many waiting periods of 10 to 12 minutes before anyone answers certainly makes me look at other options.

The last thing I want to hear while waiting is some sales pitch for a product the company I am trying to get hold of is selling. For me, it has the opposite effect. I am less likely to want to buy the product after being forced to listen to a sales pitch. I don't think I am the only one who feels like this and,if I am part of the majority then perhaps companies should revisit their tactics.

Finally, I read something about the Omega Lamb Project receiving an innovation award for blah blah. How is it that when I, as a shareholder, ask Alliance for a copy of its data and research, I am stone-walled. I haven't heard of the Headwaters group volunteering its information for all and sundry to see. I would like to see the same chefs try some of my best southdown-cross lamb and then tell me theirs is better than what I am producing, for which Alliance is not paying me a premium. If, as a shareholder and taxpayer, I can't review the research and findings, the cynic in me wonders on what information they decided to make such an award.