Turning the tables on companies that provide a poor service


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When was the last time you took revenge for poor customer service?

When a disgruntled BA customer recently paid for a promoted tweet to complain about the loss of his fathers luggage by the airline – it got sent to the top of BA’s Twitter feed and the feeds of related companies across the world, gaining more than 25,000 impressions within 6 hours, with commentators heralding it as a ‘new trend in online feedback.’

You would think that BA would have tried to limit any brand damage with a swift response but alas they further added fuel to the fire by taking four hours to respond via a direct message on the social networking site that read: ‘Sorry for the delay in responding, our Twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT.’

Another example of the general consumer fighting back is the recent news coverage of an enterprising man, who got so fed up with cold marketing calls that he set up his own premium rate phone number so that the companies that called him got charged 10p per minute, pocketing him over £300 to-date.

So you have to ask yourself – how sweet is revenge?

Well, whilst the customer may get some short-term satisfaction, both the brand and the consumer are losers in the long run. The company risks losing business through brand damage and the customer has had to go to great lengths and financial costs to resolve an issue, which should have been handled swiftly in the first place.

The business 9-5pm ‘computer says no’ mentality, no longer has a place in today’s 24/7/365 fast paced world, where consumers expect constant availability and customer support. The key issue for many organisations however, is how they offer a consistent customer service across all customer contact channels.

Before you review your customer service strategy, below are key questions to consider:

1. What technology do you have in place to support your contact centre staff?

  • How can you ensure that all contact centre staff are up-to-date with the latest information / offers on your products and services?
  • How do staff shifts affect the transferal of knowledge – how is this communicated?
  • Will customers calling out-of-hours receive a poorer quality of customer service?

2. How do you handle customer enquiries out of office hours?

  • If your phone lines are only open 8 hours per day – are customers able to self-serve answers to their questions quickly and easily on your website or other channels?
  • Do the majority of your customers contact you for pre and post sales support during work hours or do they frequently require assistance out of office hours?
  • How do you handle overseas customers in different time zones?

3. What channels do your customers use to contact you?

  • The contact centre is only one channel available for customers to contact you over – how are you handling enquiries across other channels like the web, mobile, e-mail and social platforms?

4. Are you listening to your customer’s feedback and complaints?

  • How quickly and efficiently are you responding across all of your channels?
  • Do you have a mechanism in place to ensure you monitor customer feedback so you are able to improve the quality of your products and services and level of response in the future?

Delivering a high quality round-the-clock customer service isn’t easy. Without the right technology in place to support a customer service strategy, organisations will constantly fail to meet or exceed their customer’s expectations and in light of the ‘new trend in online feedback’ – ignore social channels at your peril!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Neldi Rautenbach
Neldi shares insight and best practice tips on multi-channel customer service from Synthetix. Synthetix is a leading provider of online customer service solutions - working with some of the world's best-known brands. Synthetix create bespoke customer service and knowledge base software that enable customers to self-serve timely, accurate and consistent answers to their questions via the web, mobile, e-mail forms, social networks and in the contact centre.


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