“Hello this is Sheryl and I’m calling from the office of the President.”
How did it come to this? The full story would be a novel of an email, so I’ll probably cover it over a number of posts in the future.
In short, I had been dealing with quite possibly the most incompetent and unprofessional company I’ve ever known, Pitney Bowes. They deal with postage meters and mail machines. There internet is full of poor customer service reviews from them.
The organization I was working for had a long contract with the company that had been signed many years before I had started. Finally, the contract was up and I was able to free our company from the complete waste of money we’d been forced to stomach for years.
I had been looking forward to the contract ending but before it did, I it took me 12 phone calls (yes I actually started counting after the first few) to “finally” close the account, get the equipment returned and stop the bills from coming.
It seems this company just wanted to keep sending bills. I say “finally” because after the third time I was assured, “Oh yes, you definitely won’t receive any more bills,” I received a bill AND a collections notice from a California law firm. Enough was enough. No more emails or phone calls to customer service.
I tweeted out a message and tagged their company, posted on their facebook wall as well as sending a private message on facebook, “Hopefully we can solve this before it turns into a social media back and forth.”
Within MINUTES I had a response on facebook, and the next day I got a phone call from the “office of the president.” Wow. I felt so important.
So what does this mean?
In the age of social media, you can have a much greater affect by utilizing different means than the past, especially when it comes to customer service.
Million and billion dollar companies may disregard emails and phone calls from wronged customers, but when you put a tweet or facebook post out there, that exists forever on the internet.
Twitter especially is powerful. With facebook they can just delete your comment from their wall. But with twitter its on your account and there’s nothing they can do. And the possibility for a very bad public relations nightmare exists for them.
So the next time you get terrible service, have tried to call or email the customer care department and feel, “there’s nothing else you can do,” try posting on the company’s facebook wall, or write a tweet calling out the company and their CEO by name.
I guarantee someone gets back to you. Oh and I made a promise to Pitney Bowes that even though I was probably just a small fish to them, I would do everything I could do make sure others knew how unprofessional of a company they were and encourage others to ever use them in the future. So please, never use them. Thank you.