Keep Your Customer Service Hot

A couple of weeks ago, my furnace kicked off sometime in the middle of the night. In the morning, it was cold. Really cold. And I have a baby. We solicited the advice of friends and family, tried those little tricks you should try, and then began the calls to see how soon someone could get to our house to help a stressed family out.

This story has a happy ending. I have heat. It’s nice – I’m grateful. But it took a lot of phone calls, several different companies and visits, and far too long for a furnace to once again warm our home.

I repeat: I have a baby. The baby in question had just turned 9 months old – still very much in infant status, and while lots about being a new parent is hard, getting good service as a result of it is not usually one of those things. When there’s a baby in the home, a baby stranded, a baby sick, you make it work, you stay late, you speed out, you do all the things you need to do for the most vulnerable. Maybe it’s an unspoken rule, but I speak it!

I speak it because I brought a cold baby to work with me that morning while waiting for our furnace to be fixed or replaced. I was disheveled and stressed but warm. So was he. He stayed for the first half of the day until our furnace was once again working.

The first company we called with a stellar reputation and high reviews on Google couldn’t make it work that morning. Nope.

The next company had come out right away to help us – they were old family business friends and came recommended from a source made of pure gold.

By the time I got the baby home toward the end of reasonable lunch hours and was ready to go back to work, the furnace was once again not working. It was Wednesday. When we called back, the gentlemen said to relax and cook a frozen pizza in the meantime – they’d be back on Friday.

I don’t love being the person on the phone. I’m pretty easy to deal with (read: manipulated) and tend to hang up thinking I received good service when I hadn’t. This time I called, emphasized the fact that it was unacceptable for my baby to live in a home without heat for a full day, and asked kindly, firmly, sternly, when they could actually come back. He said he’d see what he could do. We had the start of a contract, a quote we weren’t comfortable with, and an unknown timeframe.

We called someone else. We called a guy, Chris, who came recommended to us by a colleague of mine via text that morning – just Chris – no company. When we spoke to Chris on the phone, he immediately walked back the amount we had been planning on spending and said he’d be there with a new unit that night.

He came, he stayed late, our dogs barked at him, our baby sat in the crispy waves of a space heater, and eventually, heat. He even came back in the morning to make sure things were just right.

This isn’t a lesson about calling the right company or individual the first time. All 3 could have done a great job for us. This isn’t about asking for special treatment because we have a baby. Whether it’s a vehicle owner without a transmission or a family without heat, it’s a crisis, and being empathetic, timely, and if you can’t be timely, communicative (and not condescending – a frozen pizza, really?), that makes the difference between a bad experience, a bad review, and what will always be a comeback. Like transmissions, I hope my furnace will last a long time, but if something happens with it next year, you can bet I’ll call Chris again.

What do you to do keep a customer?

 

An Uninformed Customer is an Unhappy Customer

So, I’m in Chicago last weekend with my family and decided to take Baby Marlow, our 3 ½ -year-old daughter, to American Girl on Michigan Avenue. I knew I was in for an expensive trip, but I wasn’t prepared for the single most ridiculous thing that has ever happened to me at the register in the history of retail.

Before I get to that, though, let me just state that I think the American Girl enterprise, which Mattel purchased from a former school teacher outside of Madison, Wisconsin in 1998 for a reported $700M, and which has annual revenues of over $300M, is an ingenious way to get parents to spend hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars on Made In China dolls and related tchotchkes. A visit to an American Girl store is like making pilgrimage to Mecca for young children. My daughter, for one, talked about going there for weeks in advance and literally broke out into a full-on dance party when we walked in and she heard her favorite song playing over the speakers. The kid was happy beyond her wildest dreams. And, so were we.

Marlow picked out all sorts of accessories and toys for her Bitty Baby doll: a doctor’s kit, a matching outfit for both Marlow and her doll to wear, and who knows what else. If you can imagine it (and even if you can’t), American Girl will sell it to you, as evidenced by the Airstream camper they offer so your doll can go glamping in your basement. Marlow amassed a stash of about $250 worth of junk, but I didn’t care about the price. I knew it would be expensive, and I was happy making the investment because it produced a million-dollar smile on my little girl.

Before checking out, we went for brunch at the American Girl restaurant. The food was over-priced and underwhelming. Actually, it was really bad. But the service was cute and Marlow’s Bitty Baby got her own place setting, so Marlow thought it was the greatest restaurant ever. Again, I didn’t mind spending the money because it made my little girl so happy.

Now here comes the crazy part: we head to the register, the cashier rings us up and asks, “Would you like a bag for seven cents?”

“What kind of bag?” I ask.

She shows me a paper bag and responds, “One of these, so you can carry your items.”

What cheap bastards! What jerks! I spend $250 on all sorts of crap that couldn’t have cost them $10 to produce, $100 on a terrible brunch, and they want SEVEN CENTS more from me?

If I were anywhere else, I would have left the stuff at the counter and walked out empty-handed, but I’d do anything to make Marlow happy, so I decided to swallow my pride and cough up the money for a bag.

I left the store part angry and part perplexed. My wife and I talked about the bag on and off for the rest of the day. I had so many questions:

Why seven cents? Surely this bag cost a lot more.

Why not charge me $2 or $3 to cover the expense?

If only seven cents, why charge at all?

Didn’t they make enough money on me already?

What idiot came up with this idea?

Later that evening, I decided to ask Mother Google what this whole thing was all about, and you know what I found? It turns out the City of Chicago implemented a Retail Bag Tax on plastic and paper bags given to customers at retail establishments in an effort to reduce the environmental impact of disposable bags. I’m not going to comment on the absurdity of that initiative (oh wait, did I just do so?), but I will say that as soon as I read the explanation, all my anger toward American Girl disappeared.

Here I thought that American Girl had chosen to extort every last nickel out of its customer base, when in reality they were mandated by law to do charge me. In this case, baggers really can’t be choosers.

(Read the line above again. I’m proud of it.)

The lesson here? American Girl needs to do a better job of explaining the what and the why behind the Bag Tax and of informing customers like me that it’s a tax and not a fee. They could have placed a small sign at the register, printed it right on the bag, or even trained their cashiers to explain it.

I’ll bet there are things in my business that I think my customers know and understand so we don’t explain them, we just charge and take for granted that the customer gets it. Maybe it’s a core deposit or a shipping charge, maybe it’s a requirement to replace a radiator that we assume the customer should just know, or maybe it’s something else. In fact, maybe you could tell me: when dealing with ETE REMAN, what do you wish you had a better understanding of? What frustrates you? What procedures just don’t make sense?

Now let’s talk about you. I’ll bet there are things in your business that you’d do better to explain to your customers. Think about all the fees and policies and processes your customer may or not understand. Maybe you’ve got stuff like shop supplies, storage fees, environmental fees, waste fees, finance charges, or credit card fees. Whatever they are, learn from my experience with American Girl and consider what you can do at your shop to be sure your customers don’t leave uninformed and unhappy.

 

Now it’s your turn. Tell us what you charge customers for in your shop and how you explain it to them in a way that they get it, understand it, and accept it.

The Customer is (Not) Always Right

I’ve come to think that the old adage, “The customer is always right!” is only useful for someone just learning service.  It’s a safe way for a new or entry-level employee to operate.  In my role handling escalations, responding to complaints and maintaining a company’s reputation, I have come to a deeper understanding, and you know what, it pisses me off.  Social media and digital communication have swung an unreasonable amount of power to the customer.  When I say customer, I’m not talking about B2B, I’m talking about the self-righteous, self-centered end users that risk nothing and use the digital soapboxes to extort and manipulate your business.

I’m blessed to lead what is unquestionably the most compassionate, flexible, and generous warranty team in our industry. We regularly break our already lenient terms and conditions.  I have worked hard to eradicate the word “policy” from our agents’ lips and coach them to tell customers what they can do rather than what they can’t.  Additionally, we do not sell directly to vehicle owners.  Yet, with our volume of business, I face a small but steady stream of negative reviews on Google and Facebook.  Our company treats customers well and we have high star ratings and letter grades on all platforms.  Additionally, I don’t think my business customers are affected by a Facebook post from a VO with unreasonable expectations.  But I’m like you, I have tremendous pride in my operation and our service standards, and I’ll put ridiculous effort into protecting our reputation.

Ok, so you get a nasty review on Facebook and contact the customer in a genuine effort to make things right and leave them satisfied.  Well in today’s world I don’t think we are in a fair fight.  Most people/customers are reasonable, and if you’ve done someone wrong, shame on you, go make it right.  They have a right to complain, share their experience, and use whatever means necessary to get your attention.

The unreasonable customer is who I’m complaining about today.  It’s not enough to make things right or fair.  In order to keep these review extortionists at bay, you must do everything they demand no matter how ludicrous.

I had a customer today complain about a unit that was out over four years and 80,000 miles!  Our warranty is 3 years and that’s considerably long for a powertrain component.  I’ve lived and heard all kind of crazy stories.  You changed my oil and now my tail light is out, what the hell did you do to my car?!  I demand a remote starter and a case of beef jerky or I’m taking you to small claims court. The customer is not always right, and sometimes, they’re downright unreasonable.

Tomorrow I’m still going to be patient and placate these terrorists, I know I can’t reason with them and I can’t win.  They’ve been told the customer is always right for too long.  I offer no solutions to this problem, one that is bigger than any of us.  It spans across all industries and I don’t see it going away.  So, what are we to do about it?

Try to hold them accountable when you can risk it, and vent when you can’t.  I can keep doing it, but I need your help.

I need your best responses to an unfair review.

I need your best story of the customer that tried to damage your livelihood with a groundless complaint.

Go ahead let it out.  You’ll feel better.  I do.

When to Respond in an EXTRAordinary Fashion

Most of us have jobs that involve customers and customer service, even if that is not in your actual job title.  My question to you today is when is it appropriate to do something extra-ordinary?  Chances are, “Do something special for customer,” is not on any forms at your organization, unless you work at Zappos or on my team at ETE.  Well, my team doesn’t have any written mandate, but I do urge them to do the unexpected as often as possible.

Special responses happen reactively rather than proactively far too often.  Consider the value the organization receives.  If you move mountains for a customer but it’s in response to their dissatisfaction, have you really done anything more than get back to net zero?  While solving issues is important, the real objective of going the extra mile is creating a WOW! experience for a customer, so they’ll tell everyone about how amazing you and your business are.

A popular customer service metric called NPS (net promoter score) focuses on this.  The logic is simple, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most satisfied only the low and high scores matter.  Everything in the middle is thrown out.  Those customers had an expectation and you merely met it or were close enough.  They are not likely to promote your company or bad mouth it.  The focus is to limit negative experiences and increase the exceedingly satisfied ones.

Back to your job.  Does out of the ordinary occur when:

  • a customer leaves a negative review on the internet
  • you like their car
  • they have an insider connection
  • it’s a good customer who is loyal and promotes your business
  • the company is running a promotion
  • the customer is someone “important”?

I think the answer to when to do something special is: AS OFTEN AND AS RANDOMLY AS POSSIBLE.

I’m sure the often part makes sense to everyone, but why random?  I learned a great lesson in my college days bartending for a guy named Jerry.  He wanted his bartenders to give away free drinks to customers but always in a surprising fashion.  His wisdom was that anything routine, like first or last drink is on the house ends up creating an expectation and loses all its value.  He was so right!  If you don’t create a, “Wow, that’s awesome,” all you did was give something away for free, or worse.

Ok Ben, its easy to point out that doing special things for customers can create positive experiences, but someone has got to pay for all these free drinks!  No problem, your returning customers, and future referral customers, and anyone who reads the raving reviews (which will be most of them) will happily pick up the tab in the form of increased business and decreased marketing costs.  Don’t believe me?  Scared of telling all your employees to start spending your money creating WOW! experiences?  Test it.

Recall that old adage that half of your marketing dollars are wasted?  Budget some of that spend toward extraordinary responses and watch your bottom line.  Chances are your employees are already more careful about spending your money than you are.  I can’t tell you how many times my team will come to me asking for my blessing to invest $50-$100 on a customer’s experience.  My response is always the same: “Do you think it’s the right thing to do?”  “Will it result in a great experience?”  “Make sure they know what you did for them!”

If you want to make each customer experience work for the future of your business, my advice is do the extraordinary until extra-is-ordinary at your company.

 

If You Can Do It, Do It

The dual Christmas and New Years holidays serendipitously fell on two consecutive Monday and Tuesdays. This meant: 4 day weekends, slow work weeks, and lots of time to celebrate and relax with my family. For the first time since my maternity leave, I had a lot of quality time on my hands with my son. Email notifications were off, all of my colleagues were either keeping it easy or working on personal projects which did not require me thank you very much, and all was quiet on the home front.

Boop.

A Facebook message. Owner, marketing manager, associate – no matter who monitors your social media accounts, you know that people choose all times of day or night to contact, celebrate, complain, or review your business.

Boop. It was Friday evening at 7:59 PM when I got the first message from, let’s call him Joe. Before I knew a little more about Joe and his situation, I thought, why, why now? Friday evening after business hours before a holiday – not the best possible time to reach out to a business. I’ll admit it: I was annoyed.

The part of me working on ever-improving work-life balance thought that I should only get back to Joe if it seemed urgent. I’m on vacation! The correct part of me realized that the price of great customer service is doing the right thing for your customer even if it’s just a little inconvenient for you – even if it’s a lot inconvenient for you.

Joe had an easy enough question: “What is your typical turnaround time for a replacement unit?”

I had an easy enough answer: “It depends.” I elaborated.

Joe quickly revealed why he was asking. His wife, kids, and grandkids were stuck a mere 100 miles from our HQ where the transmission in the family’s truck had gone out over the holidays. The family was essentially stranded. With in-laws. After Christmas… through New Year’s. They brought it to a shop, the shop called us, ordered the unit, and we had bad news: the transmission wouldn’t be there until 2019… until a bit into 2019.

$h!t.

While I was taking screenshots of our messages for an email to the team, I got simultaneously texted from Captain Reman and The Soigneur of Support who also saw what Joe’s family was experiencing. We swiftly entered into triage.

Noah asked questions. I asked Joe and informed him we wouldn’t sit idly by and accept the direness of the circumstances before him. Ben was looking up account information, trying to find the claim number, the shop details, and what exactly was said on the phone. We did all this from our respective homes. I was feeding 7 month old his first meal of peas and oatmeal, a shotty one-handed affair, texting Joe, and trying to be present and responsive for both activities.

It turns out Joe, his replacement unit, his wife, kids, and grandkids, were victim of the worst possible scenario: we didn’t have the unit in stock and would ship it after the New Year when our production staff would return from the holiday and the carriers were running again.

Joe and I chatted for a few days. I gave him his claim number. I got his phone number. I assured him we were trying to figure this out, make it right. I figured out where his family was staying and sent them a very hefty Italian lunch as a mea culpa. Joe asked me to clarify some details of our warranty, and I did so while knowing the more time that went by while his family was stuck a thousand miles from him the angrier he’d be about every element of his customer experience. Meanwhile, the text triangle continued between myself, Noah, and Ben, determining when/if we could get a unit (by bus, car, plane, Superman!) to Joe’s family before the date he was given. We connected dots, determined where we should go above and beyond for this epic holiday inconvenience. Ben called Joe. Ben called the shop. Ben called the original shop just to update them as well. It was New Years Eve. Happy New Year, Joe.

In the grand scheme of work-life balance, this wasn’t a sterling example of Mom-Andee being in high gear, ignoring the small work problems of the transmission marketing world. But, so what? I texted a little. Ordered food on Grub Hub. Texted some more. Looked up an account on my laptop – the point: it didn’t put me out, and I hope it was just a little, teensy, tiny bit evident that we were going to bat to Joe all the long weekend, all through the holiday, doing what we could from our views of kids, family, maybe some champagne, and without the physical or technical ability to build, dyno, and deliver a unit to them our damn selves.

Ben drove the unit down to Illinois himself to deliver it to the shop for installation. He did because he could, and it saved at least a day on a too-many-day process already. From there it was out of our hands.

Sometimes, the boops can wait. Sometimes they should wait. There are people on both ends of the text transmission – a potentially angry customer looking to be heard somewhere in the country or a marketing professional managing accounts who had little to nothing to do with the customer experience up until that very point. If you can help, help.

 


The Rhythm of Reman was looking forward to not working over the holiday weekend. When the phone started beeping though, she remembered it doesn’t cost much to help someone who could use a few moments of your time. Comment below or connect with Andee directly.

Press 3 to Check Yourself

I recently moved. You know the story: packing everything I own, finding a day I could coordinate everyone I needed to help at the same time (and a truck, and a trailer), cleaning crevices in my house that haven’t seen daylight for the better part of two years (who cleans the top of the molding anyways?)…but the least favorite thing on my moving to-do list, the thing I wrote down first and crossed off last, and all things considered, the easiest? All those phone calls.

I put off the basic calls to customer service until the last possible moment. Calling to stop my internet service was a call I made with my teeth gritted before I even punched in the last number on the phone. I sat through prompt after prompt that didn’t have the options I needed. The robot told me many times, “I didn’t catch that,” – asking me to repeat again and again driving me to question my ability to enunciate properly. Eventually, I pressed zero until I finally got a live human on the other end of the line—and that was just to even speak to someone, not the person I needed.

Why do we dread calling customer service? Whenever I have a problem, a concern, or even a simple question, the last thing I want to do is pick up the phone and dial the company for help. It seems like now I instinctively associate making those calls with frustration. And when they aren’t riddled with frustration, the time it takes to jump through the hoops to do it is enough to make me and probably you, too, want to slam your fist in outrage.

Though I may be in transmission business, more importantly, I’m in the people business. After the dust settled on my moving fiasco, I was in my car on my now slightly shorter and considerably less stressful drive to work, and I checked in on my customer service. Am I a call that customers dread making? Do they anticipate frustration and hoop jumping as they pick up the phone to call me? I certainly hope not.

But how do I know? What steps can I take to ensure that I’m not making life difficult for my customers every time I pick up a call?

How’s my tone? I don’t know about you, but as soon as I’m greeted by anyone in any circumstance, if they immediately sound annoyed, unhappy, or unwilling to help, my mood changes to respond in kind. Am I picking up the phone with annoyance in my voice, or a smile on my face?

Am I doing everything I can? Do you ever go into a store, or call up an 800 number for insert-service-here just to be told this isn’t the right number, they can’t help you with what you need, and that’s the end of it? If I can’t answer my customer’s question, am I finding someone who can? I strive to go above and beyond even when a customer is trying to call a different department, representative, or company even.

Would I want to call me again? What it all really comes down to is if I would want to deal with me. If I must, would I want to call me back? I think we’ve all dealt with a customer service representative that put us off so completely that we either cut ties with the company, or if we couldn’t, insisted we never speak to that person again.

Admittedly, no one is perfect. I’m not, particularly after days of moving. There are absolutely times I pick up the phone in a way that makes me cringe when I catch myself. But taking the steps to acknowledge our service level and check in with ourselves will lead us in the right direction in terms of providing better customer service in every interaction.

 


Hate calling that 800 number? Rani, too. Talking to a person can…sometimes… be nice, but the robots are enough to guarantee existential dread. But what about when we’re the one being called? Are we as emotionless as a robot or should we hit 4 for an attitude reset? Comment below or reach out to Rani directly.

Make Game Changing Plays

The holiday season brings family together, rewards some of us for enduring cold weather, and carries on traditions. It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially if you are a football fan like me. Football is a tradition and a passion among many in my family, with my coworkers, and with our customers (right, Chris?).

Right around Thanksgiving things start getting interesting in the football season. The college teams have league championships and bowls and the NFL playoff race is shaking out.  If you are lucky like I feel this year, your team is on the rise with a new head coach, improved roster, and a playmaking defense.  One thing I’ve learned watching loads of football and absorbing the commentary, news, and lore is that having a positive turnover margin leads to a high chance of victory.  It’s true in every sport I’ve played –and at my workplace.

The turnover or (turnaround) is the play or moment that tilts momentum in your favor and helps me, you, and our team succeed – especially when the outcome is a score.  A defensive score, for example, is a huge factor in a football game.  Achieving a positive outcome in response to a challenge or threat is of major benefit for a company or an individual.

Achieving a positive turnover margin is simple. I protect the ball (my business) while still being aggressive enough to generate offense (make progress) and take the ball away from my opponent (and attempt to score).

My favorite teams, be it an NFL franchise or those I’m privileged to work with, are adept at taking the ball away on defense and scoring whenever possible. Think about game-changing turnaround moments in customer service. Whole companies are built on this: taking a dissatisfied or escalated customer interaction and making their day in the end.

How?

  • Protect the ball.
  • Secure my assets – and interests.
  • Protect reputation, market share, and profitability.
  • Be disruptive and seek to capitalize on opportunities.
    • I can’t jump every route and try to intercept the pass, but I should be looking for and working on the plays, processes, and projects that will be momentum boosts.
  • Be ready to make a big play, look for the right ones and trust my instincts…

…even if that takes me and three colleagues out of state with little notice on an over the top response to a challenging situation.

  • Find game-changing plays in operations.
    • Perhaps the process or part I am challenged by can become my – and your – strength.

Your team will win more than lose when maintaining a positive turnaround margin. When the other team is looking to score, don’t just settle for stopping them. Work on your weaknesses and seize opportunities to gain and swing momentum in your favor.


The Support Soigneur scores not only when he’s in the end zone, but when the turnover opportunity is seized. How do you make progress down the field? Add your thoughts below or email Ben directly!

Guiding Your Customer Experience

As the air develops a cool crispness and the trees begin turning yellow and red, it means it is time for more than just football and pumpkin spice lattes.  It’s college-campus-visit season.

As a father of both a college sophomore and high school senior, I have been on my fair share of college campus tours.  We chose schools to visit because of their proximity to home (or lack of proximity), the school’s reputation, the school’s promotional materials, or a college fair.

If you have not gone through this process before (or yet!), it typically begins with an advance online registration for the tour, check-in for your scheduled tour, viewing a brief presentation, and then a walking tour with a guide.  This guide is either an upper-class student or an admissions counselor.  And this guide can be the difference between a potential applicant choosing to apply or dismissing the college altogether.

For two of my daughter’s campus tours, we had 2 vastly different experiences because of the tour guides.  We considered both of these schools, in advance of the visits as simply “maybe” schools.  In the first instance, our tour guide was great – she was well-spoken, knew her material, and communicated in a way that reached the potential applicant.  In the second instance, our tour guide was not great – she seemed uninterested, read from a sheet of paper, and spoke more to the parents than the applicant – we even left the tour early.  My daughter did apply to the school with the great tour guide and not to the other.

When college tuition, room and board can cost between $40,000 and $280,000 for 4 years, I believe the tour guide is the most important sales tool of a college. Similarly, when a customer is deciding if they want to do business with us, I must too be well-spoken, informed, and communicative about our business and the benefit this customer will experience by working with us; our relationship will likely last 4 years… and beyond.

Whether a physical or digital tour, it’s the job of the tour guide to tell a story and sell an experience with the business.

What is your most important sales tool? And is it telling the story you want told?

  • Store Front: Is the storefront eye-catching, and does it speak to your clientele?
  • Signage: Is your signage neat and clear, and does it clearly state the services or products offered?
  • Lobby: Is the lobby clean, inviting, and comfortable?
  • First Impression Employee: Is this person friendly, welcoming, professional, and informative?
  • Tour Guide: Is the tour guide the most knowledgeable and most representative of the company?

In my sales role, the most valuable tools I have are the specialized departments in our production facility (highlighted at their best by the resident tour guides) and the team members who act as company advocates, no matter their role.

The ultimate goal is to sell the service or product, but make sure to always do everything to attract – and keep – the customer. Make sure your tour guide sells the school and make the sale.


Before making the 4+ year investment in a college, the Market MacGyver puts the tour guide to the test. Do they tell a story to sell the school? And do you set up shop to you tell a story to sell your business? Comment below or email Matt directly.

We All Work in Customer Service

While job searching a few years ago, I kept saying, “I don’t want to work in customer service.” I was several years into taking sales and customer service calls involving lots and lots and lots of angry customers. I was worn down from dealing with unreasonable requests, “No, I cannot overnight a 280lb item,” “No, I cannot promise that you will have this by 10 am tomorrow.”

As luck would have it, the job I held next was primarily a glorified customer service representative position, except now, customers were called clients. I answered their questions, solved their problems, and provided them with statuses of projects. Although it wasn’t the right fit, I learned more about how companies interact with customers and clients, more of the inner-workings of a company, and how each role impacts another. I had the realization that every position is customer service. If you don’t have customers or clients, how does your company stay afloat? Most likely, it won’t.

Customers are the people that drive marketing strategies, sales calls, product support, and product content and presentation. Every single role at a company could be considered customer service in that the goal is to make products or services sellable to a person. You’re servicing a need or want for that customer.

Not in customer service? Want to bet?

  • Network Administrators provide the tools a company needs to provide the best user experience for customers.
  • Social Media Managers work to represent the brand making it easy to find, identifiable, and engaging.
  • Sales Representatives may not be technically defined as customer service, but in fact, play the largest role in curating a customer’s experience in gaining access to the product or service.
  • Technicians may never see a customer but create, fix, and work directly with the products our customers use every day and have maybe the greatest impact on our customers.

I did eventually find a new job, the right fit, and it doesn’t involve customer service – not in title. And even though I don’t have much interaction with customers in my current role, I know that all of the work that I do is to help improve the customer experience, whether that’s directly being seen by the customer or whether it’s through sales and product support, that doesn’t matter. I help make it easier for a customer or representative to make a decision. That’s definitely impacting the service we provide.

 


While we may not all be customer representatives, it doesn’t mean we should fear or avoid being at the service of the very reason anyone is in business: our customers. The Content Cook believes, just as we’re all customers, we’re all in customer service. Comment below or email Bridget directly. 

Out of the [Pizza] Box

Nowadays contact with your favorite (or least favorite) brands is only a tweet away. We’ve all seen it: a customer is angry with a product or service and they take to Twitter to call out a bad experience. I’ve done it myself. This gives the brand a chance to fix the problem, to make things right, to reach out to the customer and retain their business. I recently saw a tweet that blew me away: I took a screenshot, saved it, and am writing about it today.

See the tweet here:

What the person known as @QuashTagGaming did was complain about a product. DiGiorno was paying attention and took advantage of the opportunity to, at the very least, gain some visibility, and in this case, earn a lifelong customer.

I reached out to @QuashTagGaming, and he told me Domino’s did eventually reach out to him.  He told them they were too late, and he was with DiGiorno now. He told me that his family now buys DiGiorno pizzas every weekend. Not only did DiGiorno gain a lifelong customer, but he’s telling people about it. Besides anyone who he’s told this story to in person, his 1700+ Twitter followers (and the followers of anyone retweeted it) read his story. And now you, too, know his story. I’m not saying everyone who read the tweet would automatically be a lifelong DiGiorno customer, but it shows what kind of a company they are. It’s great PR, all at the cost of 3 pizza coupons.

This was an amazing move by a frozen pizza company, and it shows the power of social media. You can reach out to users for more than just damage control when they are upset- you can actually get new customers if you think out of the (pizza) box. In this case, DiGiorno found a customer that was unhappy with the competition and won them over. How will you use social media to build your brand and expand your customer base?

 


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We’ve all received a disappointing pizza delivery, had a mediocre frozen pizza, & experienced equally underbaked customer service. The difference maker? A tweet. Share your thoughts below or email Eric directly