Lately there have been a lot of stories about customer service and customer relations foul-ups. A couple of notable blog posts recently are Seth Godin’s frustrations parking his Prius and one regarding jetBlue, including engaging the former jetBlue CEO in the blog comments. I’m guessing that everyone has had those moments – my dad likes to call his persona for taking on a customer service mishap "The Director of Retribution." (He’s become the subject matter expert on writing letters directly to the CEO of companies and getting a response).
I also spotted Chris Brogan’s brief post on sincerely thanking Contintenal Airlines, and I thought I’d also take a minute to jot down three positive customer service stories that happened to me recently.
- I also had a great experience with Continental Airlines. Two days before a recent flight from Boston to Cleveland, I received a call from customer service mentioning the flight was oversold. The rep asked me if it was OK to move me from my upgraded-due-to-status first class seat to an exit row seat in coach in exchange for 2 free one-way upgrade coupons and a $300 credit for future travel. This is a 90 minute flight which I take often – getting bumped up to first class is cool but frankly a perk. The fact that they called with an offer already in hand was both surprising and refreshing.
- I am addicted to my Blackberry. I should probably seek counseling, but I digress. Last week, the earpiece speaker (not the speakerphone) suddenly stopped working. I went to an AT&T Wireless store prepared for the worst, having to buy a new one, since I didn’t have replacement insurance. At the store, the sales rep was extremely helpful. He looked up my account and saw that my 1 year warranty had expired 2 weeks ago. He called their customer service line directly in the store, and after a few minutes they had agreed to replace my phone and consider it still under the warranty. Rather than wait for a replacement in the mail, I went to a service center down the street. When I walked in and gave them my name, they took my phone and 10 minutes later handed me a new one with all my data replicated. It was a seemless transaction and I was able to head out the next day on a business trip without an issue. Nice job, AT&T.
- I picked up bagels Sunday morning at Cafe Fresh bagels around the corner from home. The owner always greets customers with a smile and recognized me from a visit about a month earlier with my sons. I ordered a dozen, he threw in 3 extra bagels "for the kids." It wasn’t neccessary – he’s running the only local bagel shop around. Going that little extra distance made me feel good about coming back next week.
There are good stories out there too, and while blogs and other social media tools can be used to influence or call out customer service mishaps, they can be used to reinforce the good stories too. Do you have a good customer service story to share?
Photo credit: RW Photobug via Flickr