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Good Customer Service Includes Having The Guts to Admit You Messed Up

by on January 9, 2014

It takes a lot for me to write a blog post discussing how a company messed up.  I don’t like doing it really.  Why?  All companies make mistakes.  After all, they are run by human beings and we all make mistakes from time to time. As a result, we should use mistakes to learn what to do to change future behaviour.  Having the chance to learn is the only reason that I write blog posts that highlight poor performance.  Earlier this week I wrote about my experience  with Keurig Canada.  I actually wrote the blog a month earlier, but sat on it.  I wanted to give them a chance to rally and fix the issues.  Eventually I decided to update it and post it.  To Keurig Canada’s credit, they called me.  It takes a lot of guts to admit that you messed up, but they did.  As a result, I want to give credit where credit is due and provide an update as a lesson learned piece.  Here are tips that you can take away from the Keurig Canada experience:

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1.  Be Active Listeners in Social Media

Reputation remains a top concern for Boards of Directors  and quite frankly it is keeping many members awake at night.   So, it shouldn’t be surprising that social media is at the crux of the matter.  You can choose to employ the Ostrich Effect, or you can be an active listener in social.

Keurig monitors its social channels and as a result when I mentioned them on Twitter, they not only saw my blog post, they read it.  They also checked me out on LinkedIn.  I am sure that they also looked at the fact that I have more than 4500 followers on Twitter.  In other words, I have an audience and some level of influence.

2.  Take Action and Move Conversations Off Social

Businesses that care about reputation need to do exactly what Keurig did.  They also need to   use social media monitoring tools that pick up on any company mention and not just direct mentions.  When you have the right tools you can act quicker.  Responding to customer service issues early on, is important.  The sooner you do it the better the relationship.

I have to admit that when I was answering the call and I saw the area code I wondered if it might be Keurig Canada calling.  It was.  I was pleasantly surprised and pleased that they would have a Customer Service Manager call me.  She was good actually and very professional.

3.  Acknowledge Issues

In this case the company is going through a lot of changes and growing pains.  The good news is that the Customer Service Manager acknowledged each and every issue that I raised in my blog post and outlined that they are taking corrective steps.  I find it encouraging that each issue was acknowledged.  I am sure we have all had experiences when a bad customer experience was only made worse when the person or persons representing the company denied that anything unsavoury happened.

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4.  Live the Brand

The Customer Service Manager that called me was, as I mentioned very professional.  She understands the Keurig brand, that was clear.  While not everyone thinks about being on brand and following the brand voice and values, I do. I can’t help it.  I am a Marketing Practitioner so I value and recognize when companies do this well.  Kudos to this Customer Service Manager!

5.  Follow Through

The proof is always in the pudding  though, isn’t it?  During the conversation, some issues that I had, were addressed and acted upon as promised.  This is encouraging of course.  Change also takes time and I know that they understand and have identified all of the issues that they currently have.  Based on this information, I have chosen to again use the online purchasing option through Kuerig Canada.  I will continue to monitor the progress that they make with each purchase.

These are all important components of customer service.  There are of course more and I would love to hear what you think about.

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