By now, we have come to anticipate and ward of lousy service from companies. This has triggered another question – what to do when being a recipient of such lousy service.
If you really think and analyse about the horrible service experiences you have had, you will find that there are some common traits across. For instance, the service provider never tries to apologise or show empathy towards your situation. Neither will they be responsive.
How can we know in advance at the beginning of our service experience, whether we are going to have a good or an outright lousy experience? Try to listen to seven key words, none of which will be said to you explicitly. These unspoken seven words – ‘How to get rid of this problem’.
Here are a few things one can do after failing to get the issue resolved via the normal frustrating process of losing one’s temper with customer service through mails, phone calls and the latest AI-based WhatsApp chats:
Go direct to the top
1. Connect with the CMO or CEO via mail, describing the issue with supporting documents. Use search engines and company website for preliminary search. If the email ID is not readily available on the website, try this: Call the board and ask the gatekeeper to connect to the CXO’s (chief experience officer) assistant. Explain that you need to send a note to the CXO that could be important for the company.
An email of either the assistant or the CXO will be provided for sure. If not, search for the email ID protocol of the company, or try a multitude of combinations if you know the full name of the leader.
Pepper social media
2. If you don’t hear from anyone within the next two days, not even an acknowledgement, take the issue to the board level using LinkedIn contacts. If you are able to find the right names, tag them in a decently crafted message.
Tag also the potential opinion makers who can increase the visibility of the message. Message should contain why as board members they should be concerned about the lousy service quality of the enterprise they serve and a liability thereof on the brand equity.
3. If there is still no favourable response, take the issue to the rest of the social media and try to create a firestorm using negative hashtags, Start with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Signal and Telegram. Tag the company, its competitors and senior executives.
Nearly all tweets that make up a social media firestorm are re-tweets. Therefore find the opinion makers and tag them by following the networking etiquette. Ninety-five per cent of social media ire are “raging” retweets and then go away entirely. That may not be useful for your purpose.
Don’t let emotions show
Do not use anger to express your feelings. Perceived injustice will normally result in righteous anger, and so it is best to take time to write the content in order to make it balanced. Be very logical and use eloquent language.
Stay consistent on your messaging, perhaps one a day. Normally good companies respond to a well-crafted tweet within a couple of hours.
4. If none of the above works, use consumer forum and other legal options depending on the risk-return-value equation.
One other possibility that has worked for one-off services such as car rental or non-essential services is holding the service provider responsible via the credit card service provider. Always pay by credit card and raise a dispute with the credit card company to refuse payment to the erring service provider.
Not that it will work always, but at least you can buy time and help raise the standard at the service provider for future customers.
The writer is Managing Director of CustomerLab Solutions and co-founder of Medici Institute.