Vizio TV, Hilton, Carbonite and the Power of Social Media
In a recent article, I shared a personal story about what appeared to be uncaring customer service from VIZIO TV. I'd like to update you on the positive way this ended and add to the discussion on the importance of quality customer service. If you missed that story, you can read it here.
Prior to ending my discussions with VIZIO in what would seem to be an unfavorable conclusion, I told the folks at VIZIO that I reached a rather large audience in the business community. Through my social media involvement, publishing and related connections, I let them know that I would be sharing this story with thousands of business people, but the person I was talking to didn't seem to care.
The story went out in my last Promo Marketing article and in a FreePromoTips e-newsletter, as well as through Twitter and Facebook. What I didn't expect is that my social media connections shared it through their networks. Ultimately I would think that over 100,000 people saw least the headline: VIZIO TV ... A Textbook Illustration of Uncaring Customer Service!
The reality here is that VIZIO does care about customer service and I did hear promptly from senior management who wanted to resolve this situation. It seems that what really happened was more of a business communication disconnect rather than a lack of caring about our unique circumstances.
Management had addressed taking care of this with the call center team, but that apparently was lost in translation. In the end, VIZIO chose to step up by not only offering to replace the TV, but replace it with their newest high-end model. As I talked with the management level person, it was clear that they did care about the customer. My grandmother is happy and I have a whole new appreciation and respect for VIZIO TV. Their desire to go above and beyond to create positive good will from a negative situation is commendable. We all can relate to communication challenges, so I give them grace and wouldn't hesitate to buy or recommend VIZIO to others.
Today, through social media, consumers are now empowered to have their voices heard. Companies are talking notice. From bloggers to viral videos, consumers' voices can be heard in ways that weren't available just a few years ago. Musician Dave Carroll's "United Breaks Guitars" story, illustrates the impact we can have. His video has received over 10 MILLION views to date. It's catapulted his career and created one of the best "real world" business stories of recent times. Click here for the full story, and a variety of relevant links, including a link to the video. What are people saying about your company on Yelp and other online reviewing programs? It's important to be aware of how your business is being perceived in the online world.
I believe we all can agree to the importance of how quality customer service impacts our buying decisions. In addition to my recent positive VIZIO experience, this past weekend I encountered exceptional customer service from Hilton Hotels. A manager went out of her way for us. This level of caring does not go unappreciated or unnoticed by me. I'm a huge Hilton fan and will stay in its properties whenever I can. Through the years I have stayed at many Hilton brand hotels, I've always discovered a consistent level of quality that keeps me as a returning customer.
Conversely, yesterday I spent two hours working with customer service in another country from Carbonite, an online computer backup provider. After spending this time, it was determined that my situation needed to be escalated to more experienced technicians. (This became apparent to me after about 5 minutes.) I was then told they would get back to me in 2-3 days. If you had a problem with a client could you tell them you would get back to them in 2 to 3 days? I'm thinking my client's would fire me, with good reason, with that answer.
When Carbonite did get back to me, I was told that their program has a problem reading Mac files, causing the issues I was having. "I can see from the information for the computer "jeff" why Carbonite is using a very high amount of CPU. Unfortunately there is an issue we are aware of where Mac's backing up over 90,000 files can experience high CPU usage because Carbonite on the Mac has trouble scanning through all of the files." That's interesting. This computer has less than 200 gigs of data, which is hardly an excessive amount of files. The question is, if Carbonite is unable to scan through files on a Mac, why sell the service to Mac owners? Amazing really.
We all have had our business horror stories of course, but the point of my rant here is that we can learn from our own real life experiences. Ultimately, we want to be the very best we can be for our clients and create raving fans like SnugZ USA has, which we show in this SnugZ video. As an information provider, FreePromoTips also has raving fans as shown in this FreePromoTips video.
Make it a great day!
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