Posts tagged ‘Customer Service’

December 22, 2014

Amazon reviews are almost as trusted as peer recommendations [Infographic]

A recent survey suggests that 50% of customers are actively using their smartphones to compare prices while in store.

A recent survey says 50% of customers are using their smartphones to compare competitor prices while in-store.

CRM software providers crowdtap published an infographic (below) this month to share some emerging trends in the ability of social media to influence consumer behaviour. After surveying over 3,000 US customers in 2013, and again in 2014, they found that social media is increasing its value to businesses who want to influence buying decisions throughout the holiday season.

A few things caught my eye:

1. Amazon reviews are almost as trusted as peer recommendations. I was a little surprised to see the difference between trusting a peer and trusting an online review was only 5 percentage points. I suppose this speaks to the importance of hearing directly from an existing product owner, rather than just trusting somebody in your network who you happen to already know who may not actually own the product.

2. Facebook dominates. If your business is only going to participate in one social media activity, you better make it Facebook. The survey results suggest that people are turning to Facebook, more than any other social network, to research gifts, look for promotions, and share their purchases. The only category where Facebook finished second was “gift inspiration” – losing the top spot by only one percentage point to Pinterest. Twitter seems to be rounding out the bottom of each of these categories. Perhaps this could be due to the transient nature of the messages, and also because Twitter relationships are often centered around topics of interest rather than trusted personal connections.

3. People are shopping at your competitors, right from within your store.  The survey results suggest that 50% of the people physically walking into your store will whip out their device and check a competitor’s price to see where you compare. I do this. I do this all the time. I expect this trend to continue to grow year-over-year.

4. Social media supplants TV as the most popular source for “inspiration”. For the first time, we’re relying on social media to provide us with gifting ideas more than any other medium; overtaking traditional television’s historical dominance in this area. This could be a symptom of the declining TV viewership numbers across every age demographic – with the largest decline in television consumption belonging to the 18-24 segment.

How does social media impact your holiday shopping behaviour? Check out the following infographic, and let me know what you think.

HolidayShoppingSocialMediaInfographicSmall

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September 18, 2013

Social media customer service from Rogers Communications still needs improvement, but it’s moving in the right directon

I write about it all the time – Using social media to provide customer service. I write about the good experiences I’ve had, and I write about the bad ones. It seems like one company always winds up falling short on this task – Rogers Communications. Yes, I know I’m not the only person in Canada who has had a run-in with this telecommunications Goliath, but I’m always optimistic they can turn things around so I keep trying.

My latest request for customer service from Rogers was to increase my bandwidth. The entire Twitter interaction with the Rogers CSR I was dealing with, know as “^eb” was great. He answered my questions, looked into issues when I needed more information, offered me a “fair” deal based on how I wanted to increase my service, and was generally pleasant. Once we agreed to the new terms of my internet service, I was getting ready to write a glowing davidhallsocialmedia.com blog post about how Rogers had finally improved their online customer service. There was just one more hurdle to clear – making sure what they promised me was actually reflected on my bill.

This is where things went sour. I was expecting to see the charges for the new service as promised at a price of $41.60+tx. This was to cover increased upload and download speed, 300GB of bandwidth, and a the cost of a modem rental (tweets below). Instead, I was surprised to see that my bill was almost twice that price at $82.58+tx.

Here’s how it went down:

RogersOffer2

RogersPrice

I thought “Great! Sounds like a deal. I get increased bandwidth, upload and download speeds, AND a modem rental for $41.60+tx per month. Excellent job Rogers”. So, after discussing the change with my wife over the weekend,  I accepted the deal and asked if I could get my new modem that night.

AgreeToDeal

SurveyRequest

At this point, I was happy to fill out the survey with a great review for their customer service, but since I have had issues in the past, I thought it would be prudent to make sure my bill looked OK before I gave them an A+.

WaitingForBill

…and the CSR totally understood that:

UnderstandingofSurvey

Then the bill came. It certainly wasn’t $41.60+tx for my internet service as promised:

RogersBill2013

Even without any of the partial charges, which are only a one-time thing, the price for the new service listed under “Regular charges”) comes out to $66.39+tx NOT the $41.60+tx as promised. That’s an overcharge of almost $25 per month (or about $300 per year).

I tweeted Rogers to ask them to remedy the issue. After a few hours of waiting, they said that I was misquoted and it should be $45+tx each month. Fine, but why was I charged $20 more than that on my first bill? According to the a new CSR there was a “system error” which caused the overcharge and I would be credited the difference on my next bill. So it looks like I have to wait another month to see if I actually get the deal I was promised and be able to accurately fill out their customer feedback survey.

I’ll keep you posted.

August 8, 2013

A great start to social media customer service by Ryobi Power Tools

ryobiIf you’ve ever walked into Home Depot, you’ve probably seen the name Ryobi more than a few times. It’s their in-house line of power tools and accessories. Over the years, I’ve found myself buying a few of their products including drills, saws, sanders, even weed whackers. This summer, one of my garage projects was to refinish two dressers. Of course the first step in the process is to remove the existing finish. Enter the Ryobi Orbital Sander (P410). Things were going along well, until the sander decided to stop cold. I tried to get it going again without any luck. Turns out, the place where the battery connects to the unit had broken, and I needed a new switch assembly. I thought “no problem, I’ll just order a new one from their website and finish the project next weekend.” The part itself was about $11, but the shipping to Canada was $35, leaving me with a bill of nearly $50 to repair a $40 sander.

I quickly sent an email off to the company to see if there was anything we could do to lower the shipping costs (I eventually received a very unhelpful response from the email team). At the same time, I called Official Ryobi Service Centres from Ottawa to Toronto to see if they had the part in stock. I was told several times that the part was on back order and it would be at least a two-week wait.

Seemingly stuck in my situation, I thought I’d reach out to their social media team to see if they could help me. After a few friendly twitter and email exchanges with Brian at Ryobi, it took less than a half-an-hour from my initial tweet to resolving the issue (a replacement sander is on the way courtesy of Ryobi). Here’s how it looked on Twitter:

Through my conversation with Brian, I learned that using Twitter for customer service is rather new for Ryobi (their account was created just about a month ago), but they are definitely doing it the right way. Three key elements of social media customer service  that I think Ryobi did particularly well are:

1. Fast response to the initial issue (they had replied to my first tweet in under 10 minutes). A company doesn’t have to fix all of the problems within the first 10 minutes, but a the quick acknowledgement of the issue goes a long way.

2. Friendly service. It pays to be pleasant. I’ve encountered CSRs at other companies who either blame the customer for the issue, or simply refer the customer to a website to learn more about their “policies”. Ryobi was fast, to the point, helpful, and polite.

3. Actually resolving the situation. It appears that Ryobi has empowered its social media team to resolve issues and solve problems. I did not have to be “transferred to another department” or “speak with a supervisor” to get things done. I had a problem, Ryobi fixed it. Simple as that.

Good job, Ryobi.

July 18, 2012

Great customer service can be delivered through social media, but not by Rogers

Regular www.davidhallsocialmedia.com readers and www.talknowledgy.ca listeners know that I’m very passionate about customer service, especially when it’s delivered through social media. Earlier this year, I had a dreadful experience trying to have an issue resolved by my cable and internet provider, Rogers Communications. In the end, it took a few days of tweeting and a telephone conversation with the VP of Social Media to get things sorted out. You can read all about that experience in this post where I shared 9 ways they could improve their customer care.

Since then, I’ve had two more social media customer service experiences that are great examples of how companies take different approaches to customer service.

1. FTD and Groupon Mother’s Day Mix-up – May 2012

The Problem: I had bought a Groupon the week before Mother’s Day for 50% off at FTD Flowers. When I placed my order, I requested delivery for the Friday before Mother’s Day to allow for any delays that might occur that weekend.  When I spoke with my mother on that Sunday, the flowers had not arrived.

The Resolution: I tweeted FTD at 8:25 a.m. the next day voicing my displeasure with the missed delivery. They got back to me within half an hour, apologized for the issue, assured me they would fix it, and asked for more details. I sent in the details, and by lunch time that day, I recieved the following email:

Dear Mr. Hall,

I have received your concern regarding the non-delivery of your gift, and would like to sincerely apologize that we failed to deliver your arrangement as you had intended. I can only imagine how upset you are, and I have a beautiful arrangement being delivered as an apology on behalf of FTD as well as refunding you in full. You may contact me directly at xxx-xxx-xxxx or email xxxxx@ftdi.com.

 I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Tina xxxxx

Very pleased with this response, I asked if/how I would be refunded for my Groupon purchase. Tina said she had already asked Groupon to refund my purchase, but it may take a few days for both credits to appear on my credit card.

The Aftermath: The next day, my mother received her flowers, and by the end of the week, I received a full refund from both FTD and Groupon. Just to be clear, I was not charged for the flowers that my mother eventually received.

This is how customer service is supposed to work. They seemed genuinely sorry that they messed up, and came through with a completely satisfactory resolution. I didn’t have to fight with them; I didn’t have to explain why this was a problem; I didn’t have to speak with a number of people pleading my case. They showed me that they care about customer satisfaction.

2. Rogers Internet Blackout – July 2012

The Problem: A few Sundays ago, I awoke to a lack of internet service in my house. After doing all the usual hardware and software resets and troubleshooting, I still didn’t have an internet connection. My home network was fine, just no service.

The Resolution: I tweeted @RogersHelps at 9:35 a.m. to get some help with my issue. Over 4 hours later I finally heard back from them asking “how is your internet connection today?” After I explained that my internet was still out, they told me that they’d be happy to look into it.

I thought this was a good, albeit slow, start to getting things resolved. I was then asked to do the standard “unplug and replug” the modem routine again, with no luck. They said the specs looked good from their end, so I’d have to go get a new modem from the store because my modem was broken. It was now around 5:00 p.m. on a Sunday, and I was not interested in making the 25km round trip to the closest Rogers store, so I figured I would go the day without internet service and bring my modem in when I went to work on Monday. But before I called it quits for the night, I asked @RogersHelps to credit my account for the service outage – I thought “If I’m not getting service, I shouldn’t be paying for it.”

This is the point it really started to go sour. I then received 4 direct messages from @RogersHelps explaining why my account would NOT be credited for the service outage.

After tweeting my frustration again, @Rogers_Chris decided to  jump in on the action and tell me what a “great job” the @RogersHelps agent did to help me. At this point, I had had enough. I cc’d Roger’s VP of Social Media in my reply tweet to @Rogers_Chris and turned in for the night. The next day I was contacted by @RogersMary, Senior Manager, Social Media Community, who started by apologizing for the “customer care” I received.

She was great. Friendly, understanding, then escalated my issue to the Office of the President. After playing phone tag with the President’s Office for a few days, they eventually agreed to communicate using email and gave me a month credit for internet service. I thanked them for this “one-time goodwill gesture” (their words, not mine), and explained that all I was looking for in the first place was NOT to be charged for the service outage, and to be treated with a little more care from their “customer care” staff.

Rogers, it just shouldn’t be this hard to satisfy a customer with a simple request. This minor issue didn’t need to go to the Office of the President. This shouldn’t have even gone past the first customer service representative. The original rep should have said “sorry about the service outage, we’re working on it. In the meantime, I’ll be sure to credit your account for any service lost because you shouldn’t have to pay for a service you are not receiving.”  All I wanted was credit for the time the service was out.  And when you make us fight for days to get what we want, it leaves us feeling that we received poor customer service.

The Fix: I wound up troubleshooting the internet outage myself. I powered down and unplugged all of my devices that were connected to the internet, including the modem and router. I then left them offline for a full hour or two. After plugging all the devices back in, and rebooting them, the internet started working…so I didn’t need to drive to the store and get a new modem after all.

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