Take It To Twitter


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I am one who believes in the power of feedback.  Whether its positive or negative, it is a gift.  It is an opportunity to grow and to learn.  A chance to refine skills and build knowledge.  That’s why I am always shocked when companies ignore, dismiss or make excuses when a customer provides valuable feedback and insight.

A few weeks ago my niece was visiting from Texas.  Of course it isn’t a trip to Chicago without touring as much of our fabulous city as you can.  As we were strolling down State Street we were hit with the wonderful aroma of freshly popped popcorn.  It smelled so good we could practically taste it.  It didn’t take long for us to find the source of the smell as we ran right into Garrett Popcorn on Randolph and State.  The line was out the door.  Which isn’t surprising because Garrett Popcorn is a Chicago tradition that spans 60 years.  Being the popcorn connoisseur that I am, I convinced my niece that this popcorn was worth the wait.  So we waited.  And waited. And waited. All while being teased by the aroma of freshly popped popcorn.   We placed our order for the buttery popcorn and were told they had to make a new batch.  A new batch? I was thrilled that we were going to get a fresh new batch of buttery popcorn!  After waiting some more amid the craziness of the store we finally got our popcorn.  We made our way to the Metra station to head home and couldn’t wait to sit down and devour our popcorn.

We found our seat on the train and I prepared my niece for the ultimate popcorn experience.  We opened the bag, took a handful and shoved it in our mouths.  I couldn’t believe what I was tasting.  It was the worst popcorn I have ever had.  I think they lost control of the salt shaker or something because the popcorn was so salty our lips and eyes were burning.  My niece questioned my credibility and my popcorn connoisseur status.  She couldn’t believe I thought that this was the best popcorn in Chicago.  And for that matter, neither could I.  We were disappointed to say the least.

When we got home I decided I wasn’t going to simply throw away our popcorn, maybe the saltiness would subside after a few hours.  Hey a girl can dream!  But no, it still tasted like complete garbage.  Since we were now back home in the suburbs there wasn’t much we could do.  Our dreams of popcorn had been crushed.  So I took action.  I got on-line and found the phone number for Garrett Popcorn and placed a call to their customer service line.  I felt the company had a right to know about our experience.  I personally have made a commitment to make the invisible, visible.  And that wasn’t going to happen if I didn’t speak up.

I was greeted with a less than enthusiastic hello from a customer service rep in the call center at Garrett Popcorn.  I told her my problem and expressed my extreme disappointment.  She took my name and my phone number and that was it.  I had to ask, “what’s going to happen next?”  She told me someone would get back to me.  Three days later I hadn’t heard a word from Garrett Popcorn and I was really frustrated.  So I decided to test their customer service using a different venue.  I took it twitter.  Here was my tweet:

Had the WORST buttery popcorn from @garrettpopcorn Called comp, didn’t get an apology, was told someone would call, still waiting #fail

Within 2 hours I received a Tweet from Michelle who handles the Twitter account for Garrett Popcorn.  She also called me, sent me a direct message on Twitter and sent an email.  Talk about a fast response and covering all the bases.  I spoke with Michelle and shared all the invisible factors during our experience with the hope of making these factors visible to management.  After all Garrett Popcorn prides themselves on having the freshest, most delicious popcorn.  In fact right on their website it says that customer satisfaction remains their highest priority.  Really?  Someone might want to let that customer service rep in the call center in on that secret.  I certainly didn’t feel like it was a priority at all let alone their highest priority.

I am happy to say that Michelle at Garrett Popcorn addressed my concerns, apologized, empathized and offered a solution.  Within 24 hours I had a huge tin of buttery popcorn delivered to my home.  I was hesitant to take the first bite after my last experience.  But that didn’t last for long!  This was the buttery popcorn I had bragged about to my niece.  This was the buttery popcorn that Garrett is known for.  This was the 60 year Chicago tradition I was trying to share with my niece.  After all is said and done, Garrett came through for me.  Or should I say, Michelle at Garrett came through for me.  You see, it’s the people of an organization that make an organization great even when the product fails to deliver.  So thank you to Michelle for responding to my tweet and for turning around the experience I had at Garrett Popcorn.  I hope I was able to help Garrett Popcorn see what is visible to their customers but yet invisible to management.

Bottom Line:  Take the time to provide feedback.  It’s the only way we can make the invisible, visible.  And if you don’t get a response, well…take it to Twitter!

What experiences have you had with companies on Twitter?  What experiences have you had with a company when you provided feedback with the hope to make the invisible, visible?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Kelly Ketelboeter
Kelly is an experienced training professional with over 14 years of corporate classroom training both as an employee and consultant. She has managed and consulted over 75 clients nationwide and in Canada in the areas of customer service, relationship based selling and coaching/management.


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