I have previously written about the beginnings of an addiction to Twitter, my fascination with a social media virtual meetup, and the application of social media engagement to assist entrepreneurial success.
At Quicken Loans, we utilize twitter and other social media venues as a part of our marketing strategies and client service. We have quite a few stories regaling our abilities to help clients through our process successfully. I think that it is amazing that companies are out there listening and willing to take action when needed.
I recently had a series of events transpire that started off as a simple complaint and turned into a fabulous outcome. It is this one story that I will reveal to you in some detail so that we can see the power of social customer service on a person to person level.
About a month ago, I headed out of the house to enjoy my day. On my list of things to do were:
- Get a good cup of coffee
- Get the oil changed in my car
- Walk around the Ann Arbor Art Fair.
To obtain my coffee, I decided to head to a Biggby Coffee that is right around the corner from my house. I like their coffee and I like to support Michigan businesses when I have the choice. As I was waiting in line, I opened my wallet to get out some cash and was enthralled by the fact that I had a fully stamped Biggby Coffee card which now entitles me to a free drink. I presented the card to the barista and asked for a large coffee. She looked at the card and proceeded to tell me that Biggby had changed over to electronic cards and that there was nothing that she could do to help me use the card.
I was taken aback and continued pushing the matter with increasing levels of frustration that I am sure was made evident by my voice and actions. The barista told me that the switch happened in January which made me even angrier because I had certainly been in there since that point in time. With no resolution in sight, I gave up the quest for coffee and headed off to the oil change and art fair.
While at the art fair, I came across Espresso Royale and realized that I needed to get my caffeine fix before my body decided to enter withdrawal and throw a headache into high gear. Still steamed about my previous experience, I told their barista the story. I purchased a small coffee and the gentleman handed me a large cup as a simple token. This made my day better, but I still felt a little betrayed.
The more and more that I thought about it, I remembered that the CEO of Biggby has an account on Twitter. I always enjoyed reading his little posts and wondered if the world of social client service had spread beyond Quicken Loans.
I decided to engage in a dialogue with BiggbyBob on Twitter:
FROM ME: @BiggbyBob I got denied at biggby today. Went in with a fully stamped paper card and they couldn’t help me cause they switch to electronic (1:29 PM Jul 18th)
FROM ME: @BiggbyBob – Told espresso royale what happened – payed for a small and they gave me a large… small effort – long time reward. (1:32 PM Jul 18th)
Then… we wait:
FROM BIGGBYBOB: @stuartmdavis Hey Stuart, I can help you with your paper card. Sorry about your visit. Denied shouldn’t B in our language @T_C_B (7:38 AM Jul 19th)
BiggyBob has gone down the right path. He has now looped in @T_C_B who is the VP of Operations at Biggby Coffee.
FROM T_C_B: @stuartmdavis drop me an email with what happened at [email removed] and we will get you taken care of for sure! SORRY! (7:10 PM Jul 19th)
From this point on, Biggby Coffee did everything right to keep me as a customer. I sent the email, T_C_B responded back, we came to an appropriate resolution and all was well with the caffeinated world.
Now, this post isn’t meant to encourage the masses to solve your difficult situations over Twitter. Neither is it meant to convince you to go out and simply FIND a problem to solve in this matter. This was a personal experiment and I was pleased by the results. There are indeed other companies out there in the social media sphere that are using this “stuff” for both fun and business.
Coffee is a simple thing and I could have simply coughed up the money to get a cup of joe the first time around. Client relationships, however, are not always simple. We all need to listen and have a high sense of awareness. Somewhere out there is a client that simply wants to be heard. Sometimes a resolution is had simply by acknowledging a client and offer to listen to them, not simply hear them, but listen to them. I know that my friends still ask me what this Twitter thing is all about. “Relationships” is one key answer to that question.
So…are you listening? Truly listening?