These days, so many companies skimp on customer service, hiring teenage-bots who can't make decisions in-store or outsourcing to a call centre that's so disconnected from reality, there's no hope of finding help there. And inevitably, it results in unhappy customers. Back in the good ol' days, I recall being told "Please a customer, they'll tell at most 7 people. Anger a customer, and they'll tell 21 people." That was pre-blog. We all know that, with the cozy little designer soapboxes we call blogs, we can now amplify that message. Seven becomes a few dozen, and 21 becomes many thousands. I should know, I gave Red Letter Days its fair share of bad press a couple of years ago.
Jackie Huba of Church of the Customer recounts the events of the past few days where Terry Heaton buys a $269 digital camera to find out the box is empty once he gets home. CompUSA tried to play dumb with him, refusing to refund his money and saying he should've checked the box before going home, but Terry broadcasted his experience and, while he didn't manage to get the attention of anyone with half a brain at CompUSA the day of his complaint, promptly got the attention of thousands of Diggers, BoingBoing readers and FoxNews readers.
Terry's short but eventful past few days in more details here.
If you're part of your company's marketing team, and even if you aren't, is YOUR company doing everything it can to keep customers happy? If not, make it your job to remind those in charge that without customers, there's no business happening, so treat 'em well!