As a marketer and an executive, I’m about as savvy as they come. I use my multitude of technology resources to enhance my life, my experience, and my mind. And because I live and breathe marketing, I notice everything: from whether a company is consistent in its brand image across mediums down to its customer service.
Recently, I experienced what I like to call customer servitude, the exact opposite of what a user should confront when interacting with a brand. I want to throw up my hands and run screaming in the opposite direction of this company. And yet I can’t, they’re one of the last bastions of what I deem a monopoly in this country.
I’m punch drunk from my interactions with this company, which I won’t recount here. I will share that I’d spent multiple hours trying to undo the company’s own mishandling of my account, which has lasted over a period of months and is still unresolved.
The latest incident sent me into a ping pong match between live in-store representatives, phone assistance, chat, and email. It took interactions with over ten people over a period of two weeks to finally find one representative that actually helped me and didn’t send me off to yet another department. And I was so grateful…that’s the rub. I found the needle in the haystack that was actually willing to put the customer first and fix the situation personally.
This company has an advantage at the moment because of its size and comprehensive customer base. But as innovation continues to rapidly advance forward, companies that can’t figure out how critical great customer service is will be left in the dust. Why are people flocking to new services like Uber? Because the customer comes first: from the initial service through the entire experience. The ease of use and pleasant experience leaves a lasting impression that sears in customer loyalty and ignites positive word of mouth.
The customer servitude model exists for now, but hopefully, it will go the way of the dinosaurs sooner rather than later.
Have a customer servitude saga? Share it.
Customers Included: How to Transform Products, Companies, and the World – With a Single Step
Mark Hurst and Phil Terry