It took 5 days, 43 tweets, 2 direct messages, 1 blog post comment, and Rogers Communications (Canadian Internet, Mobile, and Cable TV provider) determined that my OnDemand service outage was my fault and I was NOT to be compensated for the blackout in service. Any social media community manager would agree that this is not the ideal customer experience.
Regular www.davidhallsocialmedia.com readers know that I take customer service very seriously; whether I’m the service provider or service recipient. Social media is great way to engage with customers to deliver customer service and eventually turn these “complainers” into “brand advocates”. But my latest experience with Rogers leads me to believe they just don’t get it.
It all started when I tweeted @RogersHelps when my OnDemand TV service wasn’t working properly.
Without getting into all the mundane details of my Rogers service outage (you can read all of the tweets at the end of this post), I was shocked by way Rogers “Customer Care” team was mishandling my issue using social media. Instead of satisfying me as a customer, each interaction made me increasingly more frustrated and dissatisfied. When you establish a Twitter account specifically for customer care, you establish the expectation that your employees will actually help customers in a useful and timely manner, so you better step up.
After this experience, I thought I would try to help Rogers out by sharing a few details on where they could improve their social media customer care program. Here’s what Rogers is doing, or not doing, while delivering customer service using social media:
1. Not fixing the problem. At the end of the whole process, they were not able to offer a solution. I had to troubleshoot and trial-and-error through the service outage to resolve the problem. Employees need to know the product inside and out to be able to troubleshoot on the fly. Some of the poor troubleshooting tips provided by Rogers during this experience were “Are you signed in?” followed later by “You’re positive you singed in?”
2. Not asking for the solution. After I fixed the problem myself, and told them so, at no point did they ask me what went wrong, even though they had “never experienced this sort of problem before”. They missed a great opportunity to learn a bit more about their product and how to better deliver customer service, but they didn’t care to ask. I’d be happy to share.
3. Not apologizing for the issue. At no point did they apologize for the service outage. Eventually, after 2 days of tweeting, they apologized for “how frustrating this has been for me,” but never for the initial issue.
4. Saying the outage was my fault. Aside from this not being true, it’s not a good idea to imply that it is the customer’s own fault for a service outage.
5. Not offering any compensation. Sometimes you need to show the customer that you are sorry, and that you value their business. I’m not asking for a year of free Internet service (although that would be nice). Just a token to say “sorry” and we really appreciate you as a customer goes a long way. Rogers could consider a free on demand movie rental, a month free service, or even give me access to the promotional deals that are for NEW customers only (another sore point for many Rogers customers).
6. Being non-responsive. I give them credit for responding relatively quickly to my initial tweet, but once we got into the conversation, they were very, very slow to respond. I often had to re-ask, and follow up with them on the outstanding issue. As a customer service experience, they were not very helpful.
7. Bouncing me around to several representatives. I interacted with 5 Rogers employees, each time having to re-explain my issue. Once the lines of communication were open, they should have had one person own this file.
8. Not knowing the user. When you are delivering customer service through social media, it’s very fast and easy to get a snapshot of who you are talking with by doing a quick scan of their profile. Knowing just a bit of information about their user can help the customer service representative tailor his/her service to each client’s needs. My complaints are in no way more important than the next Rogers customer, but a quick review of my blog and tweets would let them know that I take this stuff very seriously, and they could reasonably assume that I wouldn’t “just go away” if I was ignored.
9. Trying to take the conversation offline…5 times. There are several reasons why a company would want to solve a customer service issue in the public sphere of twitter. For example, they would then have a documented solution to the problem others could source, it would be a demonstration of the great customer service, and the online resolution would enable ReTweets and “thank you’s” from satisfied customers. I agree that there is time and a place to take the conversation offline, especially when dealing with confidential information, but Rogers attempt to get my service outage complaints off of my public Twitter timeline 5 times. They asked me to call them twice, and switch over to DM three times. The only DMs I sent them were to share my phone numbers.
I understand that it’s impossible to satisfy 100% of your customers 100% of the time, especially for a big business. Companies are made up of people, and people make mistakes, I understand that. Often times, however, customers are not overly upset with the initial mistake, they get more upset with the way it was handled. In this case, each time Rogers apologized for my “frustration” made me more frustrated.
Are my expectations too high? I know that Rogers is not known for their attention to customer care in the first place. Do a quick search for Rogers customer service issues, and you’ll wind up with pages and pages of complaint like:
- Disgusted by Rogers’ Customer Service
- Rogers Case Study: How NOT to conduct business
- Is it Time to De-Occupy Rogers Mobile (With a hammer…)?
- Rogers Rants
Rogers: I would be happy to hear your thoughts on this whole situation and why it was handled so poorly, please feel free to leave a comment…
Now for the tweets:
February 6, 2012
February 7, 2012
February 8, 2012
February 10, 2012