April 11, 2012
Blog by Natalie Martin, Founder of Kitch Media
I recently had an interesting customer service experience with a leading supermarket brand and decided to do a little experiment with it.
It went a little something like this…
After a quick shop around for some food for the weekend it was evident by the 20 deep queue for the self-checkout basket lane that it wasn’t going to be as speedy to pay and opted for a trolley checkout.
After 5 minutes in a non-moving queue my mother approached the manager to ask if it was possible to open another check-out. To this he replied “Not right now, no” with another lady in the queue asking again, to which he responded “No!” The female checkout assistant was friendly but still didn’t apologise for the wait. Another key touch point when the team could have redeemed themselves.
In the space of 20 minutes waiting in the queue there was clear frustration from other customers and I thought I would take advantage of the free wi-fi to tweet the leading supermarket chain to their customer service team. The tweet went at 13:30 followed by a response to direct message them my number fifteen minutes later. I then received a call from Lee on the Social Media Team to find out more at 14.23. He was polite, apologetic and logged my complaint with as many details as possible to use the feedback to follow up with the in-store team.
It is now two weeks on and there has been no follow up or email to say ‘thank you for your feedback’ or a resolution to the problem in-store. Clearly showing that the social media team are leaps and bounds above the customer service delivered in other areas of the business. The online team have restored my faith in the brand a little, however I would not return to that particular store and am still far more impressed by the online customer service.
Both the face to face and online customer service are equally important, customer advocacy should be lead at both ends and create a fundamental base for the business. They work in support of one another, not against.
So what is the cost to your business if people are negative about you or unhappy with service and telling others about it? Think of it this way people used to tell a couple of friends and they would pass it on. Now it gets tweeted or posted online and thousands of people can know about it in an instance.