Customer Care: All Channels Matter

07. November 2017

Have you heard of David Carroll? No? Perhaps you remember the song United Breaks Guitars? He wrote it after United Airlines damaged his beloved Taylor guitar and refused to cover the costs for it. The story is not exactly new, yet negative headlines are the ones that people remember.

The story put United Airlines in a negative light on social media. The fiasco also had serious ramifications to the United brand and their customer care reputation.

Making consumers feel like they are receiving excellent customer care is no longer an option, it’s an absolute necessity. Many companies receive high marks for their excellent customer care,  yet many still deliver poor customer care. This in spite of the incredible negative coverage they receive through social and traditional media when customers speak out.

The figures are crushing:  Studies cite that up to 78 percent of buyers end a business relationship due to poor customer care. And 61 percent move directly to a competitor!

One Bad Customer Care Experience is the Last

Internet providers are renowned for poor quality customer care, globally. But this story is downright morbid: A woman wants to cancel her Comcast service, however this proves problematic as her recently deceased husband had entered into the contract in his name. After a discussion lasting several minutes, Comcast insists that the contract can only be cancelled by her dead husband. She tries again the next day and other staff members provide her with the same response. The supervisor then tells the shocked woman that she can go to the nearest Comcast office and present the death certificate in order to cancel the service. What was her response to this incredible event? “I never used Comcast again.”

Customers Never Forget, and They will Tell Everyone

Picture this scenario: A young boy discovers his dream toy at Walmart. His father looks briefly on the online shop and sees that the toy is much cheaper online than in the store, asking Walmart to match the price online at the store. The Walmart manager dismisses the discrepancy by simply refusing to match the online price. The father then goes ahead and purchases the item through ‘click and collect’, and although they they stay at Walmart to see that the online product is actually taken off the shelf, they are not able to pick it up until the following day.

This employee may have acted in accordance with Walmart policy, but there was a clear lack of obvious common sense. The father and son will remember this disjointed customer care experience for years to come – and will tell everyone they know! And what is the cost of these stories going viral, should a poor customer service story make it online and spread like rapidfire? When four or more negative articles about your company or product appear in Google search results, a company stands to lose over 65 percent of potential customers.

How to Make Your Customers Smile

We’re sure you are familiar with the eternal question that comes at the end of every customer care call, “Is there anything else we can do for you today?” Micah Solomon was a real teaser when he answered the employee’s question from Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts by saying he’d always wanted a pony. The receptionist promised to take care of it, and, a few minutes later, four printed pages appeared under his door with colour photos of all ponies in the local area along with their selling prices. A friendly note also indicated that the pony of his choice could be picked up for him if he authorised the payment!

Stories like this can also go viral, and remember the United story? On the flip side of this story, Taylor Guitars produced their own video response on YouTube and have received almost 1M views to date, transforming the same abysmal customer service story from United into a positive experience for them.

Going the Distance in Customer Care

Southwest Airlines is a familiar name when it comes to exceptional customer care.

This story absolutely reinforces why Southwest have an extraordinary name in customer service: A passenger is making his way to Denver to visit his grandson, who had been beaten into a coma . His wife contacts Southwest and explained the situation. The grandfather unfortunately arrives late to the airport due to rush-hour traffic  and arrives 12 minutes after the departure time. To his astonishment, the staff at Southwest enable him to board and the pilot says to him, “No one is flying without me, and I am not flying without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again I’m so sorry.”

Our Bottom Line

Every day, companies have the opportunity to deliver superior customer service whether the customer experience is online, in person, by phone, or through a chatbot or social media – every channel counts. Examples of quality customer care clearly show that employees, who operate within rich, supportive infrastructures, deliver fantastic customer experiences. Would you like to improve the customer experience whilst increasing the efficiency and quality of your customer care? Have a look at Ncontactcenter on YouTube and read more about Ncontactcenter to learn how NFON can help your company integrate a future-proof cloud contact center.