• Stellar Marketing

The magic key to success: Positive customer experiences.

Aktualisiert: 10. Juni 2020

Please join us as we navigate through mistakes that are avoidable.

In 1962 Marshall Mc Luhan characterises the term “global village” in his book “The Gutenberg – galaxy”. There he refers to a large society that effortlessly networks and cross links through modern technology almost like a small village does. Then this seemed like a visionary glance into a future reality.

Today that is our virtual reality. In a matter of seconds we can communicate and exchange ideas and experiences through the internet. That happens all the time particularly when people want to share shopping and consumer experiences. Nowadays strangers operate like villagers where they just log onto the internet and share their experiences to help others navigate through evaluations. But be aware bad news travel fast. And with today’s technology even faster. Therefore, your customer service is a crucial department that will shape the way customers perceive your company.

Cruise on a construction site. In 2018 the Miami based cruise operator “Norwegian Cruise lines” caused negative headlines because they ordered major refurbishments on one of their ships whilst continuing the cruises. The passengers on board complained to the overstrained captain that large parts of the ship were not accessible due to filth and noise disturbances caused by the job site. The captain just left the discussions with the fuming passengers without any explanation.

The company itself also reacted cowardly and didn’t respond to any complaints. They declined TV interviews that would have given them room to explain their views and to calm the storm. Even a written list of complaints was dismissed without further explanations. Instead they published a short and very vague statement were they offered a 25% reduction for all passengers deductible on their next cruise booking with the company. This inadequate reaction was picked up by the press and rewarded the company with a massive image loss

Deleted customer requests. The US food manufacturer Smucker´s recently worked up a sweat when it came to light that they were using genetically altered raw materials in their products. Publicly visible complaints were simply deleted. Of course, that move didn’t put an end to that problem. It actually enhanced it because disappointed customers just relocated their complaints to channels outside the company. Now Smucker´s lost their opportunity to intervene into that negative dynamic.

Their customer service is horrendous. British Airways was once again not able to trace a lost piece of luggage. The family father lost his nerves and posted a paid tweet on twitter where he accused the company of not being helpful in the search of his lost suitcase and asked for swift assistance. British Airways didn’t prioritise his complaint and left their customer for hours without any response. Meanwhile more than 80.000 people read and reacted to the tweet. Speedy reactions and transparent communications could have prevented that unfortunate incident.

Chat ordeal with amazon. A very upset customer published screenshots from a chat conversation he was having with a customer support agent from amazon. The customer suspected that he fell victim to phishing attack and simply wanted to voice his concerns. The chat protocol showed that the customer was suddenly addressed as “Madame” during the conversation and questions that were raised several times were simply ignored or dismissed with inappropriate precasted text modules. Unfortunately for amazon that complaint got huge coverage because it was shared on important business news platforms like businessinsider. Users commented this incident as “nightmarish and frustrating”.

The airline that´s difficult to deal with. The British low-cost carrier Easy Jet is known for constantly recurring negative press. Evaluation platforms are full with customers complaining about overbooked flights or flights that were cancelled just hours before take-off, leaving passengers stranded abroad. But what really stood out with Easy Jet is their policy to ignore customer requests and deny due compensation payments.

Months ago AirHelp, which provides online legal help for those claiming compensation for delays, said its data showed Easy Jet had the worst record of any airline for paying out what is legally due. That kind of negative publicity always results in loss of trust and decreasing demand.

So how do you deal with that. Clearly it is a major challenge to deal with complaints and negative feedback in order to avoid subsequent damage. Generally, it is always advisable to react in a friendly and professional manner. If your customer experienced unnecessary inconveniences always make sure you offer sincere apologies. Thank him for his honest feedback and reassure him that you accept his suggestions.

All examples show us that it is very important to avoid any further escalations that could result in negative publicity. A swift and respectful reply is always a good idea!

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