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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Customer service is the brand - for worse and sometimes better

Oh the examples of bad customer service I have seen lately. I suspect
these are generally due to companies' myopia about where the brand
really lives - the customer's point of purchase interaction either
with a person, a website, a machine, whatever. How else would one
explain paying frontline retail reps minimum wage or close to it? Or
designing websites that annoy the customer, don't work on all
operating systems, etc.?

Here are just a few things I personally experienced the past few days.

--Cell phone carrier took 20 minutes of cellphone time to explain
overbill and correct error

--Retail store employee hovered over me while I browsed then quickly
folded up the one item of clothing I picked up, the second I put it
down (disapprovingly)

--Fast food cashier argued with me when I gave back burnt coffee

--Website where I sought to buy something took me to last step then
said it didn't work on a Mac

--Online vendor refused to accept return of defective item till I
called customer service to "troubleshoot," where I was placed on
endless hold.

A few bright lights in contrast:

--Starbucks frontline employees have great attitude all the time, no
need to elaborate

--Same goes for Borders Books

--Comfort One shoes is near heroic

And a little story. Bought rotisserie chicken from local deli, called
them to report stomachache, full refund over the phone. Koshermart in
Rockville - thank you for your no questions asked, customer driven
policies.

Posted via email from Think Brand First