erinwootan

Posts Tagged ‘customer service

Just recently I had an experience with AT&T U-verse (cable/internet/phone provider) that I would like to share. I am getting ready to move, today actually in a few hours (which hopefully explains my recent blogging absence!), and of course with all the pains of moving comes the additional trouble of moving all services. Let me just say, I LOVE U-verse cable. I used to have the local Charter service and it was terrible. The one flaw with U-verse is that it is not available everywhere yet and AT&T has a hard time keeping their system updated with the most current availability information. I have recommended U-verse to many friends, and each one has had the same experience: they call and are told U-verse is not availabe in their area and then when the technician comes out, in fact it is available. So, needless to say I was not looking forward to trying to move my service. Of course, they told me that it was not available at my new address, even though I personally verified with my new apartment complex that others had this service. The agent I initially spoke to was less than helpful and let me know that they do not update their systems often and therefore I probably could get service, however, I’d be referred to investigations so they could verify the availability. Oh yes, and that process would take no less than a week. Great.

So, a few days later I decided to do a little investigating on my own. I went online and started the process of ordering cable online through the U-verse website. Unfortunately they are not able to offer the moving of service on their website, which I find to be pretty unbelievable in such a technological age. So, I start the ordering process with NO issues whatsoever with my new address. So I called back in. I spoke to a very nice, helpful agent who told me there was no problem moving my service, and I could upgrade for a great price. BUT, I could not get my service moved for 2 weeks. UGH. I am currently in an online class finishing up my MBA and no internet for 2 weeks just will not do! She said I could call back daily to see about cancellations, and that was that.

The  next day I called in and spoke to an even more helpful person in the cancellation department, because I threatened to cancel my internet service and go to a provider that could install service sooner than 2 weeks. He was able to get me an appointment the following Monday (I called Friday). That means cable and internet will arrive tomorrow!

Throughout this process, I tweeted my dis-satisfaction with AT&T and received no feedback on the matter. However, after they fixed the problems, I made sure to give credit where credit is due.

Some lessons in customer service:

1. Appreciation: As a customer, all you want is to feel like the company appreciates your patronage. After all, with all the competitors out there in almost any industry, it is very easy for a customer to take their business elsewhere. I was thanked for my loyal service to AT&T (I have ALL my services through them) and I was given an additional discount for my trouble. Appreciation, people, is the name of the game.

2. Don’t be dismissive: While I’m sure that a customer service line hears the worst of the worst in terms of abusive and complaining customers, each call should be handled as if it was the first complaint you’ve ever heard. Do not dismiss the problems of your guests just because you are sick of hearing people complain. The customer wants to feel like you actually care that they are having a problem and that you will do everything you can to fix it.

3. FIX IT: Not only does the customer want to feel like you will help them with their issue, they will be even more appreciative when you do fix the issue! Of course, all issues are not always resolvable, however you should always do everything in your power to make it happen for the guest. They will walk away satisfied, tell their friends…and maybe even become a brand evangelist!

Do you have any lessons in customer service that you’d like to share?

Casinos are always sending offers to guests, whether it be through direct mail or email or offers on Facebook. It’s really important to keep your message out there and keep your brand on the top of a guest’s mind, because, let’s face it, they probably gamble at other places. They are likely also receiving offers from other locations and weighing their options about what offers to choose and which to not redeem. If you try to make the offers easy to accept, then you will have the guests coming back for more from your property. Here are a couple of quick tips to making offers hard to refuse:

1. The offer should be of some value to the guest.

If you’re just consistently sending offers with slight discounts and never sending anything for free, it’s not likely that the guests will jump at the opportunity to receive 10% off of a daily room rate. Take a look at your occupancy records and find out what days the hotel never fills, and send out complimentary room offers on those days. Even if the guest is borderline in terms of worth, it’s better to have the person in your hotel with the potential to be spending money than at their own home or worse, at your competitor’s property.

2. The offer should be easy to redeem.

Ok step 1 is to give them something of value. Step 2 now needs to be making it easy to redeem. If a guest has to take too many steps to redeem an offer, it is likely that they will get frustrated and give up. Does the guest need to go through several web pages to redeem? Do they need to sit on hold forever on your reservation line? Do they need to print out multiple coupons or visit a long line at your loyalty club? The more hoops they need to jump through to redeem an offer, the less likely they are to redeem, or come back in the future.

3. Fine print.

The last thing someone wants to do when receiving a direct mail piece is spend an hour reading all the rules and fine print. If an offer is so complex that you need half a page, 5 point font, and the guest needs to break out the magnifying glass to read the rules, you might have a problem. Try and come up with offers that do not require a lot of fine print and “rules.” This will make guests much more likely to redeem in the future.

4. Create consistent content worth reading.

Finally, don’t just send offers just for the sake of sending something. This is especially true when it comes to email marketing. Have you ever heard the saying “less is more”? If a guest is receiving an email a day or multiple emails a day from a property and only occasionally something of worth comes through, than how likely is it that they will open your emails every day? Not very. I receive an offer every day from Groupon.com, and I always open the email, because they send me great deals! I have never been disappointed by an email I receive. On the other hand, every day I receive an email from Macy’s, and it’s usually just deals I can find if I go to my nearest store where they always have sales and promotions running similar to what is in the emails. So, I usually delete the Macy’s email every day. It is very rare that I open it. And this is exactly what you do NOT want your customers thinking when they see your emails in their inbox.

Works Cited

I just recently learned what a brand evangelist is. It’s basically a brand ambassador – a customer who is devoted to the brand and its survival.

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These people are essential to your business, because they promote it and are a form of free advertising for you. So, how do you create brand evangelists? First of all, customer service is key. In a lecture presentation by Kade Dworkin the other night, I heard a story about how a brand evangelist was created through the use of Twitter. A customer tweeted to a Las Vegas casino Twitter account and asked if a certain local sporting event would be broadcast in the sports book. The person who was monitoring the Twitter account called the sports book, asked if the game was being shown, and when they found out it was, they requested a table be reserved for the guest who was inquiring about the game. The sports book was happy to oblige. The Twitter account responded to the customer that the game was being shown and a table was on reserve, just give your name. Voila! A brand evangelist is created. The customer then responded to the Twitter account with many thanks then tweeted to all of his followers how great the service was. You can bet that in the future, this customer will spread the word about the amazing service at this organization and will convert other people into loyal customers.

One of the biggest goals to set when trying to create brand evangelists is to get people to share what you have to say, and in turn you have to say interesting things. In social media, you can create brand evangelists by posting special offers to your followers or fans or holding contests to get your customers involved with the brand. It is also important to deliver on your promises and therefore build trust with your customers. The more they trust you, the more likely they will become brand evangelists, which is the ultimate goal. You will not turn all customers into brand evangelists, however, the few that you do create will last a lifetime and will be more valuable than you could possibly measure.

What are some ways you think you can create a brand evangelist for your company?


About Me

This blog is devoted to the gaming industry news and information - keeping you up to date on the happenings in the gaming world. My personal expertise lies in event planning and entertainment in casinos.

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