Customer Service Can Make or Break a Brand
I’ll admit it. My fuze is a little short when it comes to dealing with customer service reps. Of course, the only time I email, instant message (IM) or call one is when there’s an issue. But from what I’ve observed recently, every company could be investing in additional training if they hope to retain customers after a service interaction.
The first incident started with an IM chat with a rep at Clear — that’s the service that lets you whisk past the hordes of travelers in the airport, queued up like sheep, waiting to go through security. My husband and I joined, in the airport, one busy Saturday when the line snaked for nearly a mile through the terminal. The rep who helped us was knowledgeable, fast and took care of our enrollment before we had time to change our minds.
A few months later we were about to fly one of our kids to college and realized he needed a Clear pass too. Since I had recently received an email inviting me to add a member for a discounted price, I logged into the website, went through the enrollment process but couldn’t find any place to enter the promo code. So I took advantage of the IM window to start a chat with an online rep.
Despite laying out exactly what I needed help with, the response was robotic about general pricing, and didn’t answer my issue at all. So I typed “It’s clear I’m communicating with a robot. Did you actually read my email?” The snarky reply clearly told me I had crossed the line. “I am not a robot and yes, I read the message you entered. Did you read mine?”
Whoa. Getting a little testy there, Tanyia (if that is your real name).
While I finally got that issue resolved, my next recent customer service encounter was with Travelocity. This is a travel site to which I’ve demonstrated my long term loyalty since its inception. I booked an airline ticket to go skiing in January. Within an hour, I realized I had booked it on the wrong days, so I called the 800-number and a pleasant CSR cancelled the entire transaction within a few minutes. I rebooked and, over the weekend, discovered that friends were flying on a different airline from a different airport. So I called to cancel again — only this time, the rep (who sounded young and new to the job), told me he could refund my money — all except an $8 Travelocity fee. When I inquired what the fee was for, he told me it was for an online booking.
A blog that challenges B-to-B marketers to learn, share, question, and focus on getting it right—the first time. Carolyn Goodman is President/Creative Director of Goodman Marketing Partners. An award-winning creative director, writer and in-demand speaker, Carolyn has spent her 30-year career helping both B-to-B and B-to-C clients cut through business challenges in order to deliver strategically sound, creatively brilliant marketing solutions that deliver on program objectives. To keep her mind sharp, Carolyn can be found most evenings in the boxing ring, practicing various combinations. You can find her at the Goodman Marketing website, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter @CarolynGoodman.