Saturday, April 13, 2013

Customer Service

I just read a fascinating article about the general increase in customer complaints.  As a social media manager, one of the things I work on for my clients is to help them with these online customer complaints.

With one client, they wanted me to address--reply to--a bad Google review.  The secretary of the business said, "Go see.  All she writes are bad reviews."  It's true.  This potential customer--not even a customer--who we'll call Jane,  has handed out 5 bad reviews out of the last 7 places she's reviewed.  Like so many nowadays, this woman uses Google review, Yelp and others to complain.

As Jay Baer put it, "If nothing else, social media and always-on Internet access has made us all passive aggressive. I have witnessed people sitting in a restaurant and tweeting negativity without first speaking to waitstaff or a manager. Hotel managers have told me that they are seeing more Trip Advisor reviews than front desk complaints."

It's not to say that I haven't ever used the internet to complain.  I have.  But the reality is, the internet allows us to escape "proper channels."  That's not really a great thing.  I have no problem using Twitter or something else as a channel of last resort, but many of us are going Internet first, face-to-face solution second if at all. 

When I read Jane's reviews--a source of constant negativity--I pause and think, do I want to be like that?  

I've been thinking about approaching a company I'd like to help with their Facebook page.  As I've researched them, I found a shocking Google review.  In it, a customer complains because some shutters that had been installed had lost a couple of nails.  Rather than taking care of it, she, "decided to wait to see if any more nails would come out."  They did.  Over a years time 10 nails finally came out of the shutters.  Then, to her absolute outrage, they wouldn't fix a problem since their warranty was only for a year.  

Does anyone else see the absurdity in this?  Of course, if part of the supporting mechanism--in this case, nails--is coming out, more will come.  Why would you wait at all, let alone a year, to solve this problem?

In Mormonism, we believe in something similar to karma.  It's called "restoration."  In Alma 12:13-15 it reads, "...The meaning of the word restoration is to bring back again evil for evil, or carnal for carnal, or devilish for devilish--good for that which is good; righteous for that is righteous; just for that which is just; merciful for that which is merciful.  Therefore, my son, see that you are merciful unto your brethren; deal justly,  judge righteously, and do good continually...then shall you receive your reward; yea, ye shall have mercy restored unto you again; ye shall have justice restored unto you again; you shall have a righteous judgement restored unto you again; and ye shall have good rewarded unto you again.  For that which ye do send out shall return unto you again, and be restored."

As we send our reviews out into the world, what is it that we want restored?  Wouldn't it be amazing to create a campaign of compliments?  To grab our phones and quickly add online praise to companies for doing good things?

So here's the challenge--go right now (you're already online) and compliment a company.  I'm giving props to Sportz Dogs, McNeil Printing and Cascade Golf Center for starts.  

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