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Claiming to offer Customer Service without phone service

After two years and tons of work, the new court administered process of handling BP Oil Spill claims got under way this week. Where I live, that’s still a big deal. The new court appointed administrator, Patrick Juneau, was all over the press promoting the new process. He emphasized how his 18 new claims centers would really focus on customer service. Great. From what I understand the process will be an improvement and Mr. Juneau has a fine reputation.

What he does not have is an operations sidekick. My office was contacted about the new process and I told the paper what I just wrote above. The next day, we start getting phone calls from claimants asking how to get in touch with the local claims center. Guess what? The new claims centers do not have phone service. Seriously. After several calls, we started looking for the number. After a number of calls and google searches I got in my car and drove to the claims center. A very nice receptionist told me they have phones and no service. They hope to have phone service this week but can’t be sure.

If you are going to open for business please make sure you have a way for customers to reach you other than driving up to 30 miles one way to see you. Especially if you owe your customers money and you go to the press promoting your customer service focus. DUH!

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