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An open letter to companies with customer service departments

Jaclyn Fu
By Jaclyn Fu on Oct 5, 2015 10:14:00 AM

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To companies with customer service departments:

I am your social, mobile customer.

I use Airbnb to stay at undiscovered places, hire Postmates to deliver crepes at midnight, save restaurants on Foursquare so I always have a place to recommend, use Classpass so I don’t have to commit to a single yoga studio, and evaluate a multitude of other review sites to decide how I should spend my time and money.

I take photos of your beautiful products on Instagram, Tweet about your terrible customer service, and share your half-yearly sales on Facebook.

I’m the Millennial consumer you’re trying to understand with thousands of dollars invested in sophisticated data tools and number-crunching analysts. I love buying things, but will only buy the best. It’s no longer what you tell me is the best, but what other people SHOW me is the best.

The social, mobile customer has both voice and choice with new channels of information you might not have heard about. We’re moving through the digital space at 100 miles per hour, are you keeping up? Many aren’t.

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A frustrating experience where I didn’t receive a reply over Twitter and then tried to also reach out to their support team via email. Different people got back to me, both had different answers (turns out it was a ‘human error’ where they spelled my email wrong). The issue has yet to be resolved to this day.

Delta's social team who seems to be operating on different systems from their call center team.

Compared to: 

Verizon (out of all brands!) has seriously impressed me. I DM’d them with my issue, they needed to verify some details over phone and requested a time that would be convenient for me. It was all done within minutes, and most impressively handled by the same agent.

In a time where there’s so many ‘disruptive’ services and products for me to choose from, crafting a wow-factor customer experience becomes so critical in maintaining loyalty. The difference between awesome and on-to-the-next? Going above and beyond for your social, mobile customers shouldn’t require you to bend over backwards (if you have the right technology and processes to enable you). It’s simple:

Be there when and where I need you the most.

Be there when I’m traveling for work, missed my flight and am unable to call your contact center. Be there when I’m at the laundromat (just kidding, we have FlyCleaners now!) and want to simultaneously resolve my Amazon issue without divulging my personal details over the phone. Be there when I’m walking to my destination and want to get an update on the refund I requested 3 days ago.

One thing remains constant as I’m moving through my day: I’m always on my social networks. It might be the bane of my generation, but companies need to embrace that this behavior isn’t going away. Social has become my go-to channel to connect with you because it’s always within reach. Will you be there for me at the other end?

Have you had a similar experience? Let's chat! @jaclyn_fu.

Topics: Customer Service, Customer Experience

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