Timeless customer service faux pas: That infamous scene where Julia Roberts walks in to the expensive clothing store and the salespeople won’t help her because they don’t think she is worth their time. Later, Julia comes back looking fancy and carrying a ton of bags from other shops. She throws it in their face, “Big Mistake. Big. Huge.”
In today’s world, we are all Julia Roberts in that scene.
Working in the social media and branding world has mades me hyper sensitive to how brands and businesses respond to their customers, whether it is online or in-person.
I may not have context for what it’s like to run a retail business, but I sure as hell know what it’s like to be a customer.
For those who don’t know me personally, I’m not the type to “ask for a manager.” Even in cases where I should, it generally feels like too much of a hassle and kind of embarrassing to make a scene of any kind. I just want to mind my business, get in, and get out.
Over the weekend, I had a pretty negative customer service experience. When escalating it to on-site management didn’t seem to do anything, I did the next best thing: I went to the Internet. I wrote a review on Yelp about the situation because it would be a shame for a business to lose a long term customer because one employee was playing a short-term game.
Social media has really changed the game on the customer service front. Any negative interaction can be magnified and publicized. Word of mouth matters. I ended up receiving an A+ customer service response from their upper management, which really reinforced to me how powerful this medium is.
Brands and business have more power than ever to control how they are perceived, as well as squash any issues that may come up. I don’t even need to be a consumer of your brand or business in order to see how interactions are handled. I can just take a look at Twitter feeds or head to Yelp. This applies as much to retail giants as the mom and pop retail shop.
Here is why customer service matters more than ever: In a world that is increasingly connected, no one needs to patron any particular store location or stay brand loyal.
With increasing competition in almost every space, particularly with the rise of Amazon and e-commerce sites, obtaining a repeat customer is all about building and maintaining the consumer relationship. Each and every patron is worth the time. We now have so many options to take our business elsewhere. Great customer service can only give you a leg up in a survival of the fittest game.