I am so lucky to have the amazing Erica Voll making a Guest Appearance today! Erica Voll is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media consultant. She writes a parenting blog, No Sleep ’til College, and is co-founder of Girls’ Lunch Out. Erica rarely sleeps.
I might be a customer service bully.
It all started when I was about 8 years old. My Nana told me this story:
I had a bag of beans, and in it- there was a stone! A stone in my beans! I could have broken a tooth! I sent a letter to the company and you know what? They sent me a brand new bag of stone-less beans! For nothing!
Years later, the Internet made this task easier. I could go on a company’s website and send an e-mail. Instant customer service!
Enter Twitter and Facebook. Companies are listening through social media more than ever.
When I was looking for an online photo printing store to create our holiday card, I chose Shutterfly.
On their site, our photo looked perfect. The colors were beautiful, saturation spot-on… I ordered the card thinking I finally found the perfect online photo store.
When I got my 100 cards a few days later, I was less than impressed. The colors looked washed out. I didn’t get it. Here, we took a beautiful photo, with our pro-sumer D-SLR, and it was perfect. It looked perfect online (and I do realize that colors on every monitor look different), but this was not the photo I ordered. Not the photo I spent over $100 printing.
I took it to Twitter.
And they heard me. A few days later, they responded.
Was I right to air my grievances out in public on Twitter? Did my soapbox complaining “bully” Shutterfly into righting their wrong? Is the customer always right – even when she’s yelling her complaints to more than 1,000 people at a time?
Being transparent… and present
Customer service and the way companies and brands are listening to their consumers is changing. Don’t believe me? Just follow Comcast Cares on Twitter, and you’ll see what I mean. Today, customers expect transparency from brands, and in some cases, even demand it. I expect brands to have a presence in social media. And, from a brand/company perspective, I want to know when my customers aren’t happy. After all, they are the biggest brand ambassadors you have. Righting the wrong – or just listening and letting their issue be heard – can go a long way in reputation and relationships.
But is shouting on Twitter about a problem with a product going too far? If you think the answer is yes, then I would ask you… is praising a product on Twitter going too far? Because I do that too.
This post is not a complaint. It’s a praise. I was unhappy with Shutterfly at first, but I am impressed they listened and are willing to fix the issue to keep this customer happy.
I stand firm in my belief that if, as a consumer, a product or service does not match my expectations, I will make my voice heard. We work hard for our money, don’t we? And if we are going to choose a brand or a product on which to spend that hard-earned cash, we also have the right to talk about it when we’re not happy.
Check out Erica’s favorite blog posts at No Sleep ’til College:
The Post In Which I Judge Other Moms