I’m pretty pro at being fail at updating my blog. But one day I’ll get the hang of it. until then, I would like to rant on something that’s been driving me nuts and I see it more and more. It’s also not just technology related but on other products and services too.
I’ve worked in a Customer Service/Tech Support related position for most of my working life. Despite the general groan associated with this type of job, I’ve never really had a problem with and actually found that I enjoyed it. That’s not saying its always easy or that there aren’t people who maybe are a bit of a mean-face but I don’t really tend to take it personally.
I’ve also been a technology junkie and consumer for more years than I’ve been working. I know what it’s like to be incredibly frustrated with a product that you either rely on or enjoy. I’ve also been in situations where service has failed me and had to deal with rude customer service reps. I think we really all have and unfortunately, it’s never really fun on that side of the fence either.
Having been on both sides of this relationship, I think that it’s safe to say I can empathize with both perspectives. What I cannot abide by is the constant awful behavior/approach that some consumers decide to take on Social Media to complain about things as opposed to using the proper channels to get things done. I know in some cases if you’ve had a poor experience that you want people to know so either they fix it or so others don’t experience it, but posting to a random photo the company posted when you haven’t contacted their support or bothered to utilize any other available channel isn’t helping you or others. Quite simply, it makes you look really annoying.
Julep, a nail polish/makeup company, will post a manicure picture on their Facebook page that either they had an employee do or a fan did as an inspiration. Several hundred people will comment on it complaining about how they didn’t get their shipment, WHY WOULD YOU SEND ME A YELLOW NAIL POLISH I HATE YELLOW, your nail polish costs too much, and many other similar, unrelated comments.
P.S. Their website clearly lays out where to provide feedback, where to resolve issues with your shipment, and anything of that nature. But obviously the best way to handle the situation is to respond to a random photo which has nothing to do with your complaints.
I’ve seen this on reviews for apps, services, products, and the list continues. I get being upset with a product, service or company but I don’t understand the lack of trying to better inform the company to suit your needs. I’d say 95% of companies do want to make you happy AND make money. This really isn’t the way to get support for your issue or get things resolved. Write a poor review after you wrote them an email saying hey, you got this wrong and I used your support but I didn’t get support. I’m not saying the occasional ire isn’t required, just try to remember the people on the other side of the keyboard are people too. So here are my helpful suggestions on how Support and Customers can help one another in these circumstances.
1) Look for a support phone number, twitter handle, email address either on their Social Media Pages or their Website.
Pro-Tip: If it’s a common issue like, a lost shipment, peruse their FAQs first. A lot of time companies do this to help you and them out so that you can learn the best course of action when it comes to communicating with them and how they can best fix this for you.
2) Be Polite and Firm in your Communication
I’m pretty sure the person who packed your shipment did not wake up that day planning to skip your order because they had a personal vendetta against you, stuff happens. The mailman that somehow missed your mailbox, probably didn’t either. The important thing is to get to the bottom of what happened and get it addressed. Blaming them for everything or ranting about it, does not. And there are times were there’s a little bit of user error involved. Be polite with whatever form of communication you are using and to whomever it is you’re speaking to, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have to be firm about what you’d like either.
Just pretend you were talking to someone at your job. Make sure to adequately get across what the heart of the issue is and then be firm in what your expectation is so that they can see what they can do to address it.
If talking to one rep doesn’t get it resolved, don’t assume the company as a whole is a failure either. There are bad eggs and people who have bad days, use their system for escalation and to do what needs to be done.
If all of the courses of action that are available to you as a consumer have been taken, take it to reviews sites and places like reddit. Explain your situation and exactly what happened, don’t get stuck on the hate. Generally, companies read these and some of them will get back to you because maybe that person you spoke with was new/didn’t care about their job/made a mistake. They want to make things right, contrary to popular belief, so let them have the option. Review sites or places on their site are the best way to provide feedback to address it. Don’t just randomly post on a photo or some thing, you want people to see it, not to get lost in the millions of tweets or comments they receive. Be persistent and thoughtful…guess what it’s still not time for swears either.
4) If all else fails….
If they still don’t, walk away from the social media , unlike their page, etc…and ultimately stop buying their products/service. At the end of the day, you have a choice as a consumer and there’s no point in you following a company that you truly find awful, just make sure it’s warranted. If you feel you’ve truly went through all of the proper channels and got no resolve, why are you going to waste another minute on this company spewing hate? You have better things to do with your life, like look at Cat pictures or Corgis.
1)It’s not about you
Don’t take every word written personally. This one is a toughie and while we want everyone to be awesome so we can give them our awesome, sometimes bad things are happening in their life too. Maybe that ranting customer just had their dog die and not getting their pretty nail polishes was the straw that broke the camels back. Being nice tends to make it easier and at the end of the day you get to go home to people you love. And maybe…just maybe, they’ll look back on that nice rep who made their day a little better.
2) People Will Be People
Some people will always be nasty and you can’t change it. Being a dick back to them, won’t change it and trying to get one over them won’t do it either. Be as professional as you can and do all that you can. Because at the end of the day, you have to look at yourself in the mirror and be happy with yourself. And maybe it’s just me, but being the nice person regardless of how others are just lets me sleep better at night.
3) It’s a Trap…
For the love of everything that is professional, please don’t bad mouth specific customers/situations on social media. Really, it’s tasteless and sometimes with enough detail, that stuff will come back to bite you. Not to mention, potential employers can find that stuff. It doesn’t look good on you and it certainly doesn’t do anything about the situation. If you’re going to do it, bitch with no names or anything identifiable OFF OF SOCIAL MEDIA to a friend. But just never, ever, ever do it on Social Media. Ever.
I hope this has given you some food for thought for the next time you encounter dealing with a company that annoys you or a customer who annoys you as well. We all are just people at the end of the day and we all need to remember that better.