Hales’ Heroes & Villains

November 16, 20176min

Awards International Chairman Don Hales returns for more biting observations on Customer Experience. In the Don’s sights this week are one of the UK’s handiest stores for home improvement, and a Greek restaurant that would have you smashing your plates…for all the wrong reasons. To nominate who YOU want to see as future Heroes & Villains, get in touch at don.hales@awardsinternational.eu.


This story concerns HomeServe, the home assistance company, and one of their engineers, Michael Harrison.

Some time ago, Michael was driving to repair an issue for a customer, an elderly lady who he had visited before. Because she was a nice lady who had made him welcome, he was looking forward to the call and half-expected her to be at the door waiting, as so many elderly customers are.

However, not only was she not at the door waiting, she failed to answer when he rang the bell. Thinking something might be wrong, he went to the back of the property and peered through a window, where he could see his customer lying face down unconscious.

Michael quickly removed the window pane so he could enter her home. Being CPR trained thanks to another branch of his life, he promptly applied his skills and resuscitated the lady, saving her life.

After the ambulance took her away, he completed the initial repair, replaced the broken pane of glass, then went to visit her in hospital with a bunch of flowers.

But the story does not end there! When he reported the incident to his CEO, Greg Reed, he pointed out that other engineers might find customers in similar situations but would not be able to do what he did.

He suggested that all engineers should be CPR trained. Greg agreed, and they quickly trained all 1,200 engineers in CPR techniques. I do not know what this cost the company in training expenses and engineer time, but I do know that since then another customer’s life has been saved.

Several other people have also been saved by the newly trained engineers away from their business duties.

HomeServe has made an astonishing transformation in the last few years to become one of the UK’s outstanding Customer Experience leaders and this story perfectly illustrates the magic that happens when a real commitment to CX excellence from the company leaders is taken up with enthusiasm by all team members.


This story appears courtesy of Alex Mead, a Customer Experience Director and a leading commentator on customer issues.

His problem was with British Gas, who were sending an engineer to quote for a new boiler. An appointment was made, and Alex was moderately put out when it was not kept.

He reported this to the company and waited for a new date. The next day he received a feedback questionnaire saying, “thank you for allowing us to visit your home and to provide you with a quotation”.

Patiently, Alex replied that he could not provide feedback on the visit as the appointment had not been kept. Not to be put off from allowing their process to continue rolling, the company then sent him an email – reminding him of the non-existent visit and sending him a link to view the quote.

Unsurprisingly, the link did not work as there was no quotation due to there being no visit. This is one of many situations where organisations allow their service to be process rather than customer-driven.

To be fair, I picked up this story from a LinkedIn posting by Alex, and British Gas also picked up on it and offered apologies for their actions and a fast resolution.

I do not know how Alex is now feeling but the company has clearly damaged its reputation here and must consider itself in danger of losing a customer in a competitive marketplace.

CXM Editorial Team

CXM Editorial Team

Published for all CX professionals, the digital Customer Experience Magazine is packed full of industry news, blogs, features, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience. CXM will help you learn what makes an outstanding customer experience that wins both awards and the hearts of customers. And sometimes we share some cool music as well.

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



UK Trademark UK00002648900

EUIPO Trademark 018131832

Contact Information

For article submissions:
Paul Ainsworth

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Advertising and Guest/Sponsored posts:

For Masterclass enquiries:
Tel: +44 20 86386491

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Company number: 12450532
International House, 24 Holborn Viaduct,
United Kingdom, London, England, EC1A 2BN


Find a job in customer support with Jobsora


cbd oil: humble roots cbd e juice recipes clones cbd spokane do vs does cbd ratio tab in sydney cbd map of sydnye cbd recreational cbd sydney hotels high word definition chewy cbd cbd oil reduce inflammation how do you vape cbd iphone screen replacement melbourne cbd will cbd help with pain elite dangerous resource extraction site finder revivid cbd oil find out synonym find items irie anchorage cbd oil spectrum jobs denver cbd legal in nc the truth about long hair snopes full spectrum cbd oil 1500mg cbd oil sublingual drops for bronchitis do all that

male enhancement: vitamin for libido how to last longer in bed for men fast acting hard on pills bald bearded man how to get penis erect best male enhancement gnc ropaxin rx lion bakala inserted in penis how to get free viagra futa penis growth home remedies to keep a hard on do penis pumps hurt how to be the best at sex natural forms of viagra thunder jacket amazon pomegranate erectile dysfunction daily sex side effects superman herbs reviews erect penile length top sex tips purple rhino male enhancement herbal alternatives how to increase size of panis in hindi intelligex pills rhino 69 pills

vape: tobacco vape tank ecig weed juice five star juice e cigarette stroke risks ecig burn 2 million cci vape juice high roller vape juice where to buy e cigarette liquid locally e cigarette ad campaign western voopoo longest lasting coil vaping pg vs vg uwell crown 4 kit vap pens hustle vape juice sky solo sourin juice gx350 kit best rated vape pens pod drop prices voopoo drag 2 platinum kit 60 watt vape tank smok m80 plus uwell amulet pod system vapordna review voopoo x woody vapes vaping moisture in lungs

weight loss: best garcinia cambogia for weight loss strongest prescription diet pills brazilian seed weight loss side effects sst diet pills review cayenne weight loss is cumin good for weight loss ashley jacobs weight loss diet pills no prescription rm3 weight loss cost tucson phentermine weight loss clinics near me lypo gold weight loss biotest fahrenheit diet pills 2 meals a day weight loss weight loss sacramento weight loss for pregnant neurontin and weight loss doug brochu weight loss zoloft weight loss dosage truth about weight loss pills healthy meal plan for weight loss diet pills containing sibutramine elliptical weight loss plan top diet pills that work metformin 1500 mg weight loss grocery list for weight loss diet weight loss miracle pill