Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Just Had the Most Excellent Customer Service

Recently, there was an article on CNN regarding travel sites. As I am rapidly approaching my very long pretty-much round-the-world trip, I am looking for information on Munich, Sao Paulo, Jakarta, Cape Town, and back to Delhi. One of those sites was:

I visited the site and registered for their service. As part of the signup, you receive an automated responder email letting you know that they will call you personally to confirm your identity. I replied, saying, "Really? Are you serious? Don't make me wait or I will go elsewhere..."

Within two hours, I got a call from "Carolyn", who let me know that she was just about to board a plane, but that she'd SMS the office and get my confirmation done right away. I thanked her for her service, and went on my day. I was able to access the site within an hour. Two days later, I receive an email to see what I liked, didn't like about the site and they asked if I had any questions on using the site, with links back to the site ( I hate having to look it up or guess). I clicked through and found a couple of issues and that their list of cities did not include Cape Town. I received a reply within the hour stating that the issues were being worked on, and Cape Town had been added to the list. She also, (and this I really liked) gave me the recommendation and a link to a women-friendly hotel in Cape Town. :-)

Customer service should always be this swift and this personal. Even if the site doesn't become my browser home page, I'll remember that brand for this interaction. It wasn't Marketing or Sales, or Finance that made that me a loyal influencer for their brand, it was the woman on the other end of the phone, the usually undervalued customer service rep.  Now, I'm pretty sure this is a small company, so the actual person was probably higher up the food chain, but I digress. Customer service is one of the cornerstones to building a successful business. Respect the people who do this work well. May all the shi**y ones burn in hell for not understanding how important they are.


1 comment:

  1. My jaundiced eye sees - not a website with excellent customer service, but rather a website with a confirmed, real-identity-in-the-real-world-known reader.

    And advertisers will kill for such data. Most websites you don't know if 1000 clicks means 1000 people saw the page or 1 bot clicked 1000 times on the page.

    So. When you identify your real world self to a website, they gain something worth more than money.

    But that's why I'm a bitter old pessimist hiding behind his keyboard instead of being out having fun in the world...

    Nice blog.