There isn't much room for customer service mistakes these days.
After all, every business has a CRM system, a quality monitoring solution, hundreds of years of coaching and training knowledge, speech analytics tools, desktop monitoring and analytic tools, etc., all implemented with the common goal of improving excellent customer service.
With the proliferation of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as smartphones which can transform a quick thought into a viral message before the thought is reconsidered, a lone customer service error can grow into a whole lot more.
Salesforce acquired a company called Radian6 with the purpose of integrating social media monitoring with your CRM dashboards.
If someone's mentioning your brand on Twitter, it's now automatically posted on a dashboard immediately. Forward-thinking companies will have a social response team patrolling these feeds, responding with honesty and integrity. If they don't, it will only make it worse.
Yesterday I had walked into a convenience store and showed them an item I had bought which had an expired date. I simply wanted to return it. They didn't even apologize for selling me the item, never mind offering me a new one.
My first reaction, the emotional outrage, was to break out my Droid Razr, snap a picture of the date on the item and then of the store logo and post it to Twitter. Why would anyone want to do business with this store?
Of course, after a few seconds, I thought about it. Maybe the cashier was having a rough day, and maybe this incident isn't representative of the entire store chain.
The Droid Razr went back into my pocket.
How often does the reconsideration not happen, and the blistering comment get posted?
Does your company have anyone who is actively monitoring social media for brand mentions?
If you're going to be out there responding, optimize the way these situations are handled and include them in the quality initative.
Note: since this incident, a highly reputable, upscale store whom I don't frequent, happened to ship me a pair of totally used (thought we were purchasing new) rain boots for my 3 year old son. Crazy!
I tried to call and give them a chance to put their stellar reputation to work and they proceeded to make me transfer and re-tell my story three times. Frustrating.
I returned the boots to the local store, went home and ordered them on Zappos for the same price. Zappos shipped them to me next day, for free.
I ended up relaying the pleasurable Zappos experience to the store I had previously purchased the boots from, and the clerk actually told me "I know. Zappos is great. I can't believe we had actually shipped you the ones you returned to us (they were not only worn but discolored.)."
Rich is Marketing Director for Coordinated Systems, Inc. (CSI), in East Hartford, CT. Enjoys writing, technology, sports, music, good reading and being a parent of his 3.7-year-old son. He lives and breathes his customers' call center experiences every day and uses his knowledge as resource and inspiration for his blog.
[Recorded Sept 26] Traditional Voice of Customer surveys have a blind spot to real-time feedback on social media and call center interactions. Learn how progressive companies are mining Big Data to improve the customer experience, reduce churn and even boost agent selling.