Getting access to a service provider can be like a game of snakes and ladders.

A colleague in our office has been trying to update her new bank details with a service provider. Her attempts to provide that information and resolve the issue have been challenging to say the least.

Interactions included numerous unsuccessful calls their customer service line, navigating through complex main menu options, voice recognition failings, and the final assault, enduring the repetitive melody of some 16th century/German-born composer during lengthy wait times.

We’ve all been there.

Helpfully (or so she thought), there was an option for her to leave her phone number and have a customer representative call her back. When they finally returned her call it was 11.45pm. She missed the call and the message that was left for her was to contact the customer service line. Defeated, our colleague skidded down the snake’s back once again. She has been part way up the ladder and back down the snake five times in the last fortnight. Sigh.

Many of us have experienced similar challenges.

What if this customer service experience was experienced by an employee, contractor or a member of the public trying to report a significant risk to health and safety or the environment?

Are you confident that your HSE reporting processes for considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risks enable you to respond in a timely way to that information?

Some key considerations are:

  1. Systematically test your processes for reporting incidents – are there road blocks or red flags in your current reporting systems that may prevent an incident being effectively reported?
  2. Have you got a process for verifying that your system works? Are you confident things aren’t falling through the cracks?
  3. Make improvements. Stay ahead of the game by seeking new ways of reporting incidents as technologies evolve.