It’s true, social media fatigue is starting to set in across the Internet.
Consumers say they’re tired of receiving useless information through the latest and greatest social network and wary of giving up their personal data. A recent Pew survey, for example, says as much as 38 percent of Facebook users plan to use the service less this year.
But here’s one good reason you shouldn’t delete your Facebook or Twitter account yet: Companies are paying close attention to what you say.
That’s all customers like you want when they call a company. They want someone to talk to them.
But corporations don’t always talk back. Last week, I mentioned the second-generation form letters many consumers were getting. Turns out there’s a little more to the story.
For the better part of the last decade, large companies have scripted many of their most common call-center responses. What does that mean? Well basically, when you contact a company with a question, the agent can type in the issue into their computer and receive a “scripted” response that will answer the question. Then they read it back to you. Continue reading…
It was just a matter of time before corporations created the perfect form letter, capable of fooling a veteran consumer advocate. Or you.
You know what I’m talking about: those emails that say “we’re sorry you feel that way,” but offering you nothing for a customer-service failure.
Spotting a form letter used to be super easy, which was helpful, because you could quickly appeal the boilerplate rejection to a supervisor. In the early days of email, when low-level agents didn’t understand the difference between text and HTML, you could actually see the cut-and-paste responses, because they were rendered in a different font. You knew you were being fed a line.
I’m researching an article about hotel cancellation policies for the Washington Post, but one of the stories shared by a reader resonated with me so much that I just had to pass it along. It’s another heartwarming, almost too-good-to-be-true tale of customer service.
Last winter, Lauren Staley and her husband were driving from Colorado back to California, where they live. They’d planned to spend the night at the halfway point, in Elko, Nev. But they never made it.
“A huge snowstorm caught us unaware,” she remembers. “We ended up stopped on the Salt Flats [in Utah] for several hours due to an accident, and by the time we got moving again the sun had gone down and the roads were completely iced over.” Continue reading…
Kerry Drake’s mother was dying. She’d suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for decades and the drugs used to treat her condition had decimated her immune system. One morning his brother called him to say her time time had come.
Drake caught the next flight from San Francisco, where he works for the federal government, to Lubbock, Texas, via Houston.
“I knew this itinerary was a risk because the stopover in Houston was only about 40 minutes, and my connecting flight was the last flight to Lubbock that day,” he says. “But I needed to get there as soon as possible, so I took the risk.” Continue reading…