Verne Global

Insights |

4 October 2017

The Customer's Voice is all Powerful

Written by Tom Squirrell

Tom is Verne Global's Director of Customer Success, and is based at our London headquarters. You can follow Tom on Twitter: @SecretSq360

I have noticed of late that the power of social media is undoing a great deal of the myths and common beliefs about companies and the way they treat their customers. No longer can companies rely on the power of a loyalty card which locks you in to a repeat purchase.  Customers are now taking to Twitter, Instagram and other media to vent their wrath and obtain justice or expose poor service. As a result, the rewards that are thrown at them publicly often outweigh the airmiles or loyalty points they would have received anyway for going away quietly. The media also feeding that frenzy with constant articles and media coverage - just look at Ryanair over the last couple of weeks.

So, in the modern world where complaining has become the new Facebook update we see companies employing teams of people to work on damage limitation through social media, and results given in minutes rather than weeks. An example of this was a former colleague of mine, Jorge Balcells (see below) who was sat on an aircraft in Iceland and disagreed with the national carrier’s policy on retaining your frequent traveller points, which he was about to lose. He took to Twitter and before he had even taken off he had a response committing to review the policy at the next possible opportunity and thanking him for his thoughts. Very impressive Icelandair!

On the flip side I received a letter from a telephone/tv/broadband supplier yesterday. I had complained that my home phone wasn’t working and that I had to use my mobile phone to report it. Not an issue except I was charged a premium rate for the privilege. The team, after four emails, closed the case and refunded me the money on my next bill which was ok. The letter yesterday stated that it had been 8 weeks since I opened the case, that it was important that I was happy and that they would be looking into the issue soon, and do call if there is a problem. Oh, and by the way if I had already heard from them I could ignore this letter...

My point is this. Standard responses triggered by automatic process aren’t good enough anymore. Good customer service can make all the difference and how you handle a customer issue is more important than ever. Didn’t we use to tell 10 people about a bad experience? Now, thanks to social media, we can tell hundreds in seconds!

At Verne Global we take Customer Service very seriously and I would invite you to look at our NPS and Customer Satisfaction levels on our website to testify to that fact. We also know that word of mouth is often the deciding factor for a purchasing decision which is why we will continue to strive for the very best we can do. Businesses always look to scale their processes but they should never forget the customer has a voice and with social media it just got dialled to 11.


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