Normally, I try to avoid personal rants on this blog, but I’m so dumbfounded by this, I had to share …
As I was getting off the phone with a local utility company, I requested documentation of the service changes we’d just made. I was thinking they could fire off an email confirmation. No big deal, right? Not so fast. When I asked for the email, I was told, “We don’t email.”
At first, I thought maybe she meant she couldn’t email, so I politely asked if someone there could email me the confirmation so I’d have it for my records. Again, I got the exact same, “We don’t email.”
To that, I had to respond with an incredulous “What do you mean you don’t email? It’s 2011. How does a major company like yours not email?”
The rest of the conversation isn’t really important. My point is, what kind of customer service are you offering if you are unable to communicate with customers via email? I’m not even asking this company to hear and respond to me on Twitter or create a Facebook page where I can ask questions. Nothing that advanced … just looking for some email.
Two lessons from this situation:
- If you’re a company that provides itself on customer service, yet you’re unable to communicate with your customers in the way they want to be interact with you, that’s a problem. Nowadays, I think it’s pretty common to expect email confirmations to be available. And, if your customers are the tech-savvy set that flocks to Twitter or Facebook, a niche forum or some other online site, why aren’t you there, standing by ready to assist? (Even if you aren’t “there” all the time, don’t you think if someone sends you at “at reply” on Twitter, you should at least respond?)
- Not everyone is as far along the technology spectrum as we’d like to believe. I wasn’t on the phone with a mom-and-pop bakery. This is a multi-million dollar company with 1.4 million customers (according to their website). If that kind of company hasn’t even figured out how to work email into customer service, perhaps we all need to take a collective step back and realize that the whole world isn’t quite on board with things like “social CRM” or even monitoring company mentions on blogs or Twitter.
Anyone else *shocked* that the customer service department in a large company like that still can’t email?!
Ok, that’s the end of my rant for today … what’s going on in your world?