Tag: Customer Service

Sunday Column (129)

Oh well, a fantastic week, wasn’t it?

Sitting here at the weekend I try to remember what all happened this week. Work seemed to be very busy the first half of the week with it getting less busy towards the end. However, then picked up last minute again. I guess it is holiday season and most people are away. Nevertheless I can’t say I am bored, just the opposite, plenty to do. That means, September is going to be mental?!

Enough about work, although I realised this week that more and more people in the industry are friends rather than colleagues. I guess we are a small little family in online, and particularly in RTB. My article about RTB has been published by more people now, and it is an exciting space to be in. And this space is growing, and I keep meeting great people.

Now, enough about work 🙂 I keep having discussing with people trying to figure out where I would like to live, and when and how and why….really by the end of this year I’d like to make the call and decide where I want to settle for the next 2 years. I don’t mind London, but I mind the endless thoughts and ideas of it not being London. That sounds like I wouldn’t like to go abroad but that’s not it. I wouldn’t mind at all, but if so, it needs to be soon, and I’d like to get started sorting it. But one step at a time, there are still lots of discussions to be held. Work and private ones.

Oups, did I mention work again? I guess it is where I spend most of my time, but I love it too. Just Friday I had a great conversation with my COO about things, and I am very excited about the next few months.

And (non work related) there were another couple of companies this week that are worth mentioning:

a) Southeastern: for the past 7 years I travel with them into London but keep not getting a seat on half of my journeys in, and think they don’t do anything to listen to their customers. It starts to really p* me off!

b) Ocado: the last two weekends they managed to make mistakes again. I don’t mind a company making mistakes, we all do, but Ocado’s mistake seem to happen every week. I speak to them each week, get refunds and free bottles of wine. But that isn’t helping. All I want is for them to keep their promise and deliver the best service and products ever. I am fighting for it, as I don’t want to shop anywhere else. Maybe I write the CEO a letter this week, we shall see.

Now the kids: I mainly sit with Colin in the morning having breakfast. And he gets upset if we don’t. I sometimes manage to be home to put them to bed, settling them. We are making progress in settling Colin by leaving his door open and stand on the door, waiting for him to sleep. And if he gets up at night we put him back to bed rather than taking him in ours. Allegedly the way forward, less stressful for him than holding the door shut and letting him cry to sleep. And we are feeling better about it too.

Rohan started moving backwards a bit and will be on the run soon. I truely enjoy them both but I am also quite certain this is it. 2 are enough 🙂

Then Oma and Opa came to visit over the weekend. Colin got all excited and loved to see them. We went down to Sevenoaks to visit Knole. This is a deer park and castle. A lovely day out which we finished with a nice meal. A fantastic day, great for walking and strolling, and playing golf.

We chilled on Sunday, got some family business done and some shopping. Just what the doctor ordered. I am planning to have a detox next weekend for 3 days from Friday to Sunday, so finishing my t-total month with a proper cleanse. And then I will be off to the next challenge.

Have a great week,
Best,
Volker

#southeastern letter to demand answers

Hello,

I thought I share a letter I just posted to Southeastern Rail.
Feel free to take the idea and send a similar letter to them, I am sure they will listen eventually.

Thanks,
Volker

—–
TO
Charles Horton, Managing Director
Southeastern
PO Box 63428
LONDON SE1P 5FD

Dear Mr. Horton,

Kent House to Victoria Service

I used to travel from Clock House to Charing Cross on my commute to work but recently changed to Kent House in order to go to Brixton/Victoria. Whilst I believe the Hayes line is the busiest line in London, and from Catford it is difficult to board the train (8:04 leaving Clock House), this line has normally 10 carriages, which I understand are a maximum. However, currently, I am more concerned about the recent developments on the Orpington line.

In the mornings I take the 8:12 service from Kent House to London Victoria. This train is usually very busy, so I get on carriage 4 of a normally 6 carriage long train. In 8 out of 10 cases I even get a seat. However, recently the service seems be formed of only 4 coaches. This happened on average about 3 times a week.

If a service is formed of 4 coaches, I am lucky to get a seat, normally stand and from Sydenham, latest West Dulwich there are passengers left on the station that cannot get on the train. Particularly in warm weather conditions, as we had in August, this is unacceptable and not very nice to say the least.

I tweeted about it several times, even compared your service to the conditions animals are allowed to be transported in, and I have to say, I sometimes would prefer to be an animal as it seems that they are treated better.

Also, on Monday this week I contacted your online customer service via the web form and haven’t heard back. I was more than p* off and really annoyed. I find the conditions I travel on 60% of the time inhuman, rude, ruthless and just unacceptable. I find it even worse that Southeastern doesn’t seem to care.

So far I am missing you responding to tweets, engaging with customers and commuters, and not responding to filled in web form. From a company serving London commuters I’d expect more communication, more commitment, and a healthier attitude towards your customers.

If you look at Twitter and do a quick search, you find many passengers being dissatisfied. But I don’t seem to find a response to them (this is a mini snapshot really, I leave it to you to do a full search).

As mentioned in my email on Monday to you, if Southeastern doesn’t react, you don’t leave me and other passengers (and it won’t be difficult to find them), to boycott Southeastern, to put more public pressure on you, or to take things to the industry bodies, e.g. London Travel Watch or Passenger Focus. Having commuted for over 7 years with Southeastern, I probably spend close to £8,500 on travel cards with you.

Rumour has it that you are aiming to increase fares by another 8% next year. My current monthly travel card is around £147.20 and it would go up by a whopping £11.78. For that money I have to get a much better service, guaranteed seat, and a better customer response.

Whilst I appreciate you running a monopoly on train connections in the South East, I don’t think it gives you the right to treat your passengers/customers in a way you do. I think you are missing the point of protecting elderly and disabled. People that don’t stand up for themselves, panic in crowded location etc, that don’t even get a chance to get on the train.

I expect actions! I expect engagement and communication!

Additionally, I’d suggest the following to you: a refund on every journey I stand due to overcrowding.
This is mainly in the mornings as I travel home late from work, so if we say on average I stand 2.5 journeys a week, this makes it 10 journeys a month. I believe that the current ticket if I only buy a point to point card is £25/week, in total £100/month. If make 20 morning journeys (20 weekdays, amounting 40 journeys return), then the price per journey is £2.50, hence I’d like you to reimburse me £25 per month. To be fair, we can go back to May for that, so the total up to end of August comes to £100.

I look forward hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Volker Ballueder

Ocado @ocadouk

I was sold to Ocado. The ex investment bankers that gave up their job to improve the world. Right….

It says on their website:

“We believe that you should be able to enjoy first-class service without having to pay more for your shopping.

[…] the same outstanding quality, range of choice and service you’d expect in your favourite supermarket.

We bend over backwards to make our service extra-special, and you’ll quickly spot lots of thoughtful touches, like colour-coded delivery bags, text message delivery reminders and drivers that bring your shopping right to your kitchen table.”

Now we started shopping with Ocado about 8 weeks ago. Once I complained about the freshness but I believe I was wrong. Happens. One of our first deliveries was late but the driver called saying he will be there shortly. I was impressed. From the first moment I dealt with Ocado, things seem to be right. I got an i-calendar invite, so my delivery slot was added straight to my calendar.

About 2 weeks ago we didn’t get all the ordered articles. I tried phoning their hotline but no one answered. I tried a different number and it was dead. My subsequent email explaining we didn’t get two items and I would like to have a call was ignored. Not the items, e.g. I got a refund, but that I wanted to speak to someone.

Now, being a great social media geek, I thought I go on Twitter – no response. Not even when I re-tweeted other people that were unhappy.

One off, things happen. Or do they?

Last night our delivery was due between 8 and 9 pm. No call, no text message, no email. So at 9:15 I called the customer service. The line dropped 3 times until I got through. A lovely chap said very apologetic “the driver should have called you”. The driver then said “sorry, someone should have told you”.

Now that doesn’t help. You arrange diner and baby duties around your delivery time. It is Friday night and you don’t want to wait up for your shopping.

They could clearly track the van from the customer service line but they couldn’t let customers know they are running an hour late? Why not sending everyone a text message every twenty minutes once the delivery slot has passed to make people aware. Nothing like waiting for your groceries, particularly if you had diner guests (which I luckily didn’t).

I was hoping for an apology, or a follow up this morning. But nothing. I went on Twitter instead:

You can do your own search on Twitter for “ocadouk”. Or just “ocado” if you like. For a company that “bends backwards” and excels in customer service, there is no reply, word or statement on Twitter. Only mention is the bike ride some members do this weekend…

My wish is that from now on I get what I pay for: a company that let’s you know if they are running late and have all the groceries you ask for.

We are all human, we all make mistakes. But if I go out to the public with a bold statement that I deliver best customer service, and then I don’t, that is bad. Ignoring customer comments, probably just adds to it.

DM me if you like. I am not having much capacity at the moment, but maybe I should run a workshop on social media and customer service with you guys 😉

Looking forward to a comment or call. Whichever you like!

See you next week, hopefully in time with all the food 🙂

Sunday Column (92)

Another one of those weeks. Monday started with a “busy end of month finishing it all off” day and a forecast for SNOW. Snow really determined the rest of the week. On Tuesday I was snowed in and worked from home, Wednesday I tried twice to go to London but failed, Thursday was even worse and only Friday I made it to a meeting but decided to work the afternoon from home.

Wow, I feel like living in a third world country. As soon as we have about 2 inches of snow, everything seems to come to a standstill. Firstly the transport system, e.g. the trains, as their electricity supply is next to the tracks. No connection, no electricity, no train service. Then Royal Mail, promising next day delivery but cannot get through even after 3 days. Our lovely Bromley council decided to not collect the trash but also not informing us when or if collection will happen anytime soon. Lastly, Tesco where we ordered delivery early this week to ensure we didn’t have to get out in the snowy weather, decided to not deliver, and not to tell us either. Shit customer service and people not willing to deliver or at least telling you that they make alternate arrangements, seems to be everywhere.

Of course my paper didn’t arrive on Saturday either. And, discussing this issue with our neighbour, he said that him being self employed he couldn’t just “not turn up”. He cancelled meetings but just not telling the customer and pretending they assume things are not moving forward, wouldn’t be an option. However, the big companies really don’t seem to care at all.

What doesn’t go into my head is that we had snow for the last 3 years, and no lesson seemed to have been learned by the authorities. The council doesn’t clear the side roads or pavements. Pregnant women like my wife or people with buggies have difficulties getting anywhere. Older and vulnerable, disabled people would not be able to leave the house. I should probably be glad of the situation I am in: I can drive places, have fantastic neighbours, our heating works (fingers crossed), and we are happy despite my moaning. But the authorities and bigger companies just don’t seem to be able or willing to spend more money to cope with the chaos. Hence I wasn’t surprised to hear in the news that older people died as they fell over in their garden during this weather. Disgusting thinking we are living in a civilised world.

Colin in the snow
I truly believe I am up for challenges at the moment. As they say in Buddhism that you sometimes come to the same problem over again until you solve it. Here we go: I really get annoyed if I pay for a service and don’t get it. And, whilst I understand the above weather might cause some delays, I cannot understand people using this for a permanent excuse. I for my part worked from home. The same amount or even more than in the office. No problem. I cannot afford just sitting here doing nothing, why does Tesco or Royal Mail think they can?

Enough about the weather, the same challenge I seem to get away from the snow. We needed a new lock mechanism for the front door: great, friendly service and the company came out in the snow. Wow, perfectly done. Bromley Security Locksmith are the ones to go for. However, you might remember our hassle with the kitchen. Tiled, re-grouted, re-tiled…I asked the nice lad whether he was confident he would be able to fix it the 2nd time around. He promised me he could do it. However, more tiles are moving and I am now asking for the money back. It is ridiculous people offering a service and cannot deliver. I think that is something that I need to work on.

Cat watching me work, sitting in a box 🙂
Trying to do a reality check whether I am wrong I find that I get a lot of support. You pay for a service or product and you expect it to work. My problem is that I get really wound up with it, get stressed and just would like to get it done properly. I have to come to the conclusion that I cannot influence those things and they are out of my hand. And if I want immediate results I have to do it myself. This isn’t easy. It means that I can rely less on others and have to spend more time doing it myself. Time I don’t have, time I don’t want to spend.

Alright, enough for today. Despite working from home I didn’t have a great deal of time playing with Colin, nor did I have too much time with my wife. Our weekend was quite busy, with us visiting our friends’ 4 weeks old baby which was a great Saturday afternoon. The moments you look at babies and realise how calm they are, unwound, unstressed just relying on you. These moments you cannot describe. You start realising that you cannot change the world and that you should enjoy every moment.

Hence apologies for the rant but I think I am NOT wrong!

Once my new phone, a HTC Desire Z, arrived I will write a review and let you know how I like Android. If it arrives that is.

We also went to Ikea to get more drawers and a new cot for Ballueder’s baby number 2. And of course a play rug with roads on.

Have a great week, mine is going to be very busy, we are going to have to do a lot of work in the run up to Christmas. So fingers crossed Christmas comes soon.

Love and Kindness from my little world,
Volker

Sunday Column (76)

This weeks flew past with many many meetings. All good though and we are making progress. I now have to be careful what I write here, as my boss has discovered the blog and seems to have added it to his RSS feed 🙂 Just teasing 😉 I like my boss!

Luckily this week was less eventful than last week. However, we made preparations of handling Colin easier, without my wife lifting him. Quite a few adjustments, including a very cute duvet and duvet cover of the hungry caterpillar. Colin has had his ups and downs this week, and I managed to spend about an hour in the morning with him. His teeth still seem to bother him, but overall he is jolly good.

Another few things I wanted to mention. I tried out another Tai Chi class which I believe goes beyond what I am willing and ready to invest in regards to time and practise. But never say never. I will have to give up my Tai Chi class in Beckenham due to time restraints from my work. It is just not feasible to make it home by 7:30 pm, particularly on a Thursday. Currently, I think I go back to the practical class, e.g. pushing hands, on Tuesdays across the road from my work.

Then I was impressed with some customer service this week. One was with Blackberry Help via Twitter. After I installed the latest software update which had some problems, they talked me through todos on twitter to restore the old settings. Very helpful. The other one was BT Business. Our broadband seemed to drop every now and then in the office, so they first investigated via Twitter, called and seemed to have sorted the problem.

I remember a few years ago when I was at university, e.g. almost 10 years ago, and the first blogs came up. I mentioned to a few people that “companies should have a customer service real time response on their website” – here we go. Twitter makes it possible and if I had thought through my idea, I could sit on a full bank account now. What will the future hold….????

To be honest these are the key developments at the moment. I am recovering from a (mild) man-flu, and have a very busy week ahead. The weekend therefore was quite relaxing. We want to do some improvements on the house, and my wife finally agreed to a TV in the bedroom. More out of necessity as she needs to rest more. Ach well, should be a problem for me having a telly in the bedroom 😉

Have a good week.
Volker

business ideas – local services

Hello,

Instead of me moaning about the customer service of companies, I thought I come up with a few lines of great customer service or better business ideas to be implemented at some local services.

Our local pizza delivery service for instance. For the past 5 years I have been ordering my special pizza: ham, chicken, artichokes, mushrooms, black olives, extra garlic, extra cheese – thin crust. Almost every Friday, and at least once a month. If we estimate an average order volume of £20, estimate on average twice a months, that makes it 5 years of £480 orders, e.g. round about £2,000 I spent with them. Honestly, our combined order is usually past the £25 mark and more than twice a month 😉

Now, they are great, only made one mistake in all the years and replaced the pizza without extra pay. However, they regularly have offers on where you can save 20%, and you can only claim them during a certain time period, and if you have the leaflet. If you are a regular customer you normally don’t get the offers because you hardly check your leaflet or trash it as soon as it comes through the door. Hence you lose out on the special deals, because you already know what you want and don’t need a leaflet, don’t you?

My suggestion therefore is that they should create an account for each customer. If they had a website, they could automatically do that online, you set up your own account, your preferred pizza, and all you have to do is send a text message or an email or call with a reference number to place your order.

Of course this is not a new idea. And, my next suggestion, as you might have guessed, is to pass on the special offer they have on to regular customers automatically. Make them aware, e.g. deliver the pizza and say “Just to make you aware that we took 20% off your order today because we have a special you might not be aware of.” If you believe it or not, even in a small community like Beckenham, this could make the rounds. People will start talking about it, because people like to speak about their good (and you noticed also their bad) customer service experience. Get people talking and pass on the benefit is the bottom line.

Now, whilst we are on the topic: my local ironing shop.
They have offers on too. They have a website which does not work. So every week I call them to find out if I have to wash my shirts and they iron them or if they still have the special on for washing and ironing my shirt. With a simple newsletter, better a mobile text message service, they reach all their customers. Why not send a text message on a Thursday to all your registered users and tell them “Special this weekend, bring in 5 shirts to iron and get the washing free.” This or similar of course 🙂

Where I am going with that – of course cb consulting offers customer service trainings. But, at the moment my time is limited to provide any work. However, I would like people to start thinking as a business. That is my passion, I enjoy doing and running businesses and having ideas for them.

ROI – return on investment. Whilst it is not always about money, money is where it all comes down to. If you get an additional 20 people to order a pizza once a month with an order volume of £20, then this is £400 more in your bank, minus running costs of course. So, you don’t need to have a maths degree to work out how many extra pizzas you need to sell, or how many extra shirts you need to iron, in order to accumulate the costs of an easy to implement website, CRM software, or mobile marketing solution. It is easy and a no brainer to improve your service which ultimately improves the order value….which improves your profit.

Enough of a business lecture on a Thursday morning. Enjoy the rest of your week.

And, if you have too much money to spend, why not develop an iphone application like Pizza Hut did 😉

Vodafone got things right!

Now, not only was I asked to tell everyone, but I am more than happy to do so!

Vodafone called me late tonight and gave me the offer I wanted. The person I was in contact originally was out of office. Now my question is WHY?

But first, let me say that Thomas Rushton and his Webteam (Thanks Lee) kept their promise and put things right after I tweeted and blogged about it.

It still does not go into my head that
– A company makes it so difficult to change between contracts and that I could have created more work by canceling my (consumer) contract and then becoming a new (business) customer again.
– That I need to push on social media, e.g. Twitter, Blogging, Linkedin to get attention.

And, I don’t believe that the social media influence itself has caused them to think about it. At least I don’t hope it did, but that somewhere along the line the “customer (e.g. me) was king”.

I tried to think of an analogy (maybe not the best but it is almost 10 pm): My teddy bear from years ago: I love him, I nurture him, I want to keep him but he keeps disappearing, gets uncool, looses his fur and although I am certain that I should get rid of him, I am almost in “love” with him – hence I don’t abandon him. But one day, he starts talking to me and says “Volker, I have to leave you.” Would you not be devastated?

Not sure if it makes sense that I “love” a brand like Vodafone (and other brands). I told the guys that I am more than happy to outline a social media strategy for them. I never wanted to leave Vodafone but they seemed to wanted to get rid of me. Maybe they will tell me why no one took ownership of my case and sorted things out for good? Would that not have been better and easier for all of us?

Anyway, Ian Shepherd wanted to make me an advocate, and I am. Of course subject to the free blackberry arriving this Friday 🙂 Very excited.

I wrote to the Webteam, after sorting it, that I will blog positive about it. I also believe that it is essential for any brand to monitor the social media space and engage with the twitter community or with the bloggers. As an example when I mentioned O2 or Orange earlier, they should have engaged with me and offer me a contract, shouldn’t have they? I was saying I would go and join them instead. And Vodafone should get their voice out there too, engaging with me or others.

Just around 5 pm this afternoon, monitoring Twitter, I found Vodafone being mentioned almost once every minute. It is so essential for brands to monitor and engage. Engage with your customers where they are. Social Media. Offline. Mobile.

Ok, ok – before i go on and speak more about strategy, I should mention the post about “Don’t litter Twitter” by the guys from Jam. I think we should all have “freedom of speech” and should be allowed to say what we want.

If our followers drop/un-follow or if people don’t want to listen what we have to say – then that is ok. I don’t follow everyone back either. However, with brands it is different. They need to listen and get a more “personal” profile on the social media space in order to meet their customers on the same level.

Vodafone has sorted things this time, in future and I am confident they will engage with customers more in the future and think about their social media strategy. Happy to help you if you like!

Thanks again for sorting things out and getting things right. Whilst obviously being subjective, I think that was an objective way of putting things 🙂

Happy to keep everyone posted of the progress!

Can Vodafone win me back last minute?

I am sitting here and just do NOT understand.

You must by now got the message of what I think of Vodafone. I hate Vodafone’s customer service. I direct messaged with the director of customer service on Twitter until he unfollowed me, and emailed with his team and finally got moved to a business account. That was, after I had to sign another direct debit mandate and form, because the online form we discussed several times on the phone had suddenly disappeared.

Now, I am officially a business customer and can upgrade my account. However, the upgrade means I need to pay for a new phone rather than getting one for free. To get the latter, I need to cancel my contract, change to a pay as you talk contract, and then come back to Vodafone as a new business customer. Could that be the solution.

I tried. I really think I tried it all. Writing on Twitter, being friendly in emails, asking for nothing else but being transferred to be a Vodafone business customer for a better deal and a free phone, and then, when I thought everything is sorted, I get stabbed in the back. I have to pay for the handset, a whopping £280.

So I wrote them another email, asking to sort things out by close of play today but they didn’t. 4 hours seemed enough to react to a customer enquiry, one that is ongoing for several weeks.

Now, all I can do is wait or cancel. The problem is that I don’t really want to change providers but Vodafone does not leave me a choice. I have to leave a brand I like, a company I care about but their customer service is just so bad.

Go on Twitter and search for Vodafone and you find out how many people talk bad about them. Shame!

I guess it is GOODBYE Vodafone – and the iPhone at last? Or Orange? I keep you posted.

Vodafone Customer Service

I wrote about my “unhappiness” with Vodafone before. However, this time it is different.

When I found out that my new work does not supply me with a blackberry, I decided to get one myself. I was thinking about it anyway and went to Vodafone as my contract is about to run out the end of August. In store they told me that I could not get a business contract, which includes the 24 hour phone replacement service and free land line calls as well as the free Blackberry, whilst having a customer account. Therefore, they suggested that I should cancel my contract to a “pay as you talk” and then come back to the store and take out a business account.

Of course I wasn’t happy with the solution and contacted their online and telephone team and got various answers. Whilst the telephone team sent me a very complicated transfer form, the online team sent me a link for an easy form to transfer my phone number and contract to a business account. However, that form had a usability issue which didn’t let me fill in my correct birth date, e.g. the days only went from 1 to 28.

Now, as I wanted things to go smoothly, I called them up and explained but no one seemed to bother. I then got the answer of

Hello Volkar,
I understand from your email that you want us to inform transfer team to correct you date of birth to 30/4/1977.
Volkar, you need to contact new connection team 08080741741 in order to correct you date of birth to 30/4/1977.
I trust I have done the needful.

Firstly, they couldn’t even address their customer with the correct name which I pointed out but still didn’t get an apology. Then, even for me as a foreigner, the English just doesn’t sound correct! And, lastly, the number wasn’t free. So because Vodafone could not get a form that allows me to do the correct thing, I had to pay money to get things sorted? I don’t think so. They then complied of me sending in a driving licence and again I refused being a customer for many years, they should surely know my birthday by now, shouldn’t they?

I spent another hour on the phone to the customer service, often ending up in a dead end, e.g. “yes, we are happy to put you through to the business account service team, enter your number.” But as my number hasn’t been recognised as a business number, I was thrown out of the line. That happened repetitively and I got so fed up that I went on Twitter!

That is where the whole “fun” started. No one but ex-Virgin and BT seemed to pick up on me complaining about Vodafone. I would have loved to take on the offer from BT who kindly send me a nice reply on how to become a BT Business Customer. BT’s customer service really improved! They are doing a great job of monitoring and engaging with their clients on social media sites, such as Twitter.

A friend finally pointed me in the direction of the Vodafone Directors Office on Twitter, Ian Sheperd. He and his team were great and engaged with me on the level I approached them: Social Media site Twitter! I got a call the very same day of approaching him that my account will be transferred within 30 days, I will get my free Blackberry, and that I don’t need to re-send any proof of my birth date.

Even the next day I got another call from his team, apologising for the poor experience and Ian said that he is determined to make me an advocate for Vodafone. But will I?

First of all it depends on how they deal with my account transfer. If by mid August I will have a blackberry and the contract and everything sorted the way I want, then I am more than happy to speak out for Vodafone. However, I truly believe they need to improve their customer service, not only customer service on Twitter.

For big brands it gets more important than ever to engage with their clients where they are. They need to be on social media sites such as Twitter and find out if anyone speaks about their brand. And, if the experience like in my case is poor, they need to engage with me, and make me an advocate there and then. However, the process Ian went through was quite lengthy and I am sure he shouldn’t be the one that is dealing with complaints, then again I am glad he did in my case.

As you might have noticed by now, I am very passionate about two things: Social Media and Customer Service. The latter is very important for anyone from my local ironing shop to brands like Vodafone. But the combination of both become more and more powerful. All Social Media does is to engage with the audience and clients where they are. If that is Twitter, YouTube or through games or communities does not matter. But Social Media is a channel brands can no longer ignore.

Ian, thanks again for your help and I hope we can sort out my account and you turn me into an advocate for Vodafone. Also, if you have questions about how Vodafone can embrace Social Media, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am more than happy to present you with some exciting ideas! You got my number 😉

…to be continued…

BT (British Telecom) – customer service

I keep getting into the habit of writing about customer service. Particularly in relationship with Twitter.

Also, I have a love-hate relationship with BT (British Telecom). About 2 1/2 years ago when we moved into a new flat they drove me nuts. It took me a week to convince their help desk that they don’t need to do a line check every time I call and that there is a problem with the exchange. They eventually agreed to send out an engineer and fixed the problem after 10 days. I got so mad at them that I wrote a letter to the CEO which resulted in the head of customer service apologizing about the incident, and me getting 3 months free broadband as a compensation.

Now, why am I still with BT? Two reasons. One is that my wife likes to keep the land line number. Secondly, it is convenient to have them as they have a good connection, e.g. I hardly ever in the last 5 years had problems connecting to the internet. I believe 2 times in 5 years. That is a very good track record.

After the incident 2 1/2 years ago I decided not to sign for another 12 months in case I want to swap to Virgin for their quicker glass fibre optic broadband. But then I did sign another 12 months just recently because I thought I never going to change to another provider and they offered me some savings 🙂 I fell for the old sales trick!

What I noticed lately, particularly reading about BT’s throttling broadband speed. Of course they speak about doubling the speed and introducing glass fibre optic technology too. Anyhow, because we have such a slow speed, e.g. we signed up for up to 8 mb/s, and only receive around 3 mb/s, I complained to them and tweeted about it and said that I am not happy with the slow speed but surprised, due to previous experience, about their speedy response. After my complain via email I had a technician on the phone within 2 hours! And he unfortunately admitted that if it is slower than 2.5 mb/s I should call them. However, that is not the reason I signed up for 8 mb/s but I know there is no way to argue about it. Maybe Virgin after all?

BT thread1

Above the replies from Twitter. BT started following me, commenting and offering more help and support. I find that very good and very essential. Actually, this is what the post is about.

Any good brand nowadays needs to adopt to search/social media to follow up what is said about their brand online. With BT for instance, you need to monitor “BT” on Twitter. Go to the search function and search for BT, you will quickly see how much work they have to do and how many people write about “BT” not meaning the company.

Just thought this is a great case study on how well BT is doing, or brands in general, in adopting social media and monitoring as well as engaging with clients. It is more and more essential for brands to engage with clients where they are.