Email and Avoiding Customer Service Nightmares
As soon as I saw “United Airlines” trending on Twitter, I thought of an email I wrote about last week.
In case you missed it, I posted my story under this headline: “United Airlines’ Friendly Email Centers on the Customer.”
Part of my job is to analyze and write about direct mail and email efforts that catch my eye. I use my judgment to select ones that exemplify best design and copy practices and tactics. And I consider how they support a brand’s strategy.
The February 25 email I broke down was supposed to promote “A flying experience built around you.” “United puts you first,” it said, emphasizing the word “you.”
Well. My piece ran on April 3, and the United incident happened 6 days later.
This post is not about what sparked or resulted from that event.
I’m not going to offer anything that hasn’t already been said by many other critics. My colleague, Thorin McGee, put it best: “That is putting your customer last.”
But it got me thinking about how companies can do better when things go wrong.
I’ve written about how to deliver an effective apology with email. Too bad that so few do this when they most need to.
Another thing that bothers me is how difficult it can be to find good customer service when starting with an email, as I did.
A quick look through my inbox revealed a few interesting things.
Many companies bury their customer service link in mouse type in the footer of its HTML.
Mattress Firm does this, as do Kate Spade, Brooklyn Industries, Hot Topic, and Sprouts Farmers Markets.