Customer service and brand reputation. Ah-haa!

Apologies
for not blogging over the last couple of weeks, but we’ve got builders tearing my house apart – and finding a temporary
home for the family has been taking up a lot of time (outside of work
of course)!

I’m
writing this from my ‘Travel Tavern,’ where we’re
currently living Alan Partridge-style until the builders complete their
business – or we find another house – wondering what all these other
sad people are doing in a Surbiton hotel without access to Champions
League
football on a
Wednesday night. My kids are screeching and screaming – rather than
sleeping – next door, which leads me to believe that perhaps they too
are becoming increasingly irritated by the broken air-conditioner
noisily blasting chilly air around the place. I’ve complained several
times about this to the manager, but to no avail. Of course, each time
he has quoted from
the customer services handbook, assuring me that they’re “looking
into it,” that it’ll be fixed “as soon as possible,”
but it’s been four days now… Yes, he can placate me this way in the
knowledge
that I’m probably not going to go through the hassle of moving the
whole family to another hotel mid-week, but it doesn’t really solve
my problem.

Which of course got me thinking… brand reputation and customer service are even more important
now that the world is digital. Opinions, views, reviews, comments –
both positive and negative – can spread like wildfire across
blogs, networks and websites (see Mel Carson’s post
about Ryan Air for
a topical example of this). As most of the web is open, this kind of
information is no longer locked inside ‘walled gardens’; these
points-of-view can be searched for, linked to, and replicated
very easily.

Taking
that concept a step further, even if experiences happen offline,
they are quickly written about online. In other words, even offline
brands have nowhere to hide from a modern consumer. If the air-con
issue isn’t sorted tonight, perhaps I’ll add my name to
the list of disgruntled bloggers seeking redress for bad customer
service… and if anyone has a couple of spare rooms they want to rent out, do give me a shout.

 

  • ANDREW WEIR

    Delighting customers with magical brand experience should be the priority of every brand. This could have been a great opportunity to turn you into an advocate.

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