I realize I’ve been discussing customer service a lot since 2011 started. The integration of customer service and PR in social media is such an enamoring topic, that I can’t seem to stay away!
As great as customer service can be through social media and real-time responsiveness, there seems to be a growing trend that puts a damper on the whole customer service aspect of social media. It seems that companies are relying on responding more and more to public complaints via social media rather than providing key customer service from the beginning or even responding to private complaining. I think the companies need to remember the customer’s satisfaction ALWAYS matters regardless if they blog about it or not.
I’m afraid that companies are going to start responding to complaints based on the complainer’s online influence as more and more consumers turn towards business interaction on social media. Do you see the same thing happening?
Fortunately, I experienced a bright light in customer service last night. My girlfriend and I wanted to grab a quick dinner, so we went to Chili’s (classy, right?) The meal was great for the price, but I am still ecstatic over the service we were provided from beginning to start. Our server, Tom was kind, prompt, and seemed to genuinely care about our experience under his services. I was already going to leave a nice tip for him, and then as he left our receipt he said, “It was great meeting you guys.”
Wow! I can’t remember the last time somebody offered that kindness in a restaurant. That one sentence just hit me. I added a couple bucks on to the tip just for that, and I plan on sending this post to their manager and corporate. Tom didn’t see our interaction as a consumer-business transaction, but as a relationship between himself and his guests. That is a powerful and revolutionary way of looking at business. Tom, the pleasure was all mine.
Even as business becomes more and more digital, businesses have to start thinking of their customers as guests. Its not easy, but I want to hear businesses say it was nice to ”meet” me whether our interaction was on person or in line. Trust me, if you’re a business who meets their consumers and builds relationships; as brief as they may be, your guests will come back to meet you over and over.