Two Tales of Customer Service


Jay Cross recently posted about his horrible experience with United Airlines:

Cull out your best customers, the repeaters who make the airline profitable. Then throw obstacles in their path, demonstrate your inefficiencies, put in surprise restrictions, and do your best to drive those good customers away.

Jay Cross – United Breaks Relationships

Contrast Jay’s story with that of Peter Shankman’s:

That meant that in just under three hours, someone at Morton\’s Corporate had to see my tweet, get authorization to do this stunt, get in touch with Morton\’s Hackensack, and place the order. Then Morton\’s Hackensack had to cook the order, get it boxed up, and get a server to get in his car, and drive to Newark Airport (never an easy task, no matter where you\’re coming from) then, (and this is the part the continues to blow me away,) while all this was happening, track down my flight, where I was landing, and be there when I walked out of security!

Peter Shankman – The Greatest Customer Service Story Ever Told

These days, it seems we’re all numb to stories like Jay’s, because we experience them more and more frequently. Stories like Peter’s are more amazing because of how rare they have become. And, it’s not like we don’t hear about the good ones because they’re not shared. The days of people only sharing bad experiences are over — we’re now in the era of over-sharing. Now we hear about every experience, good or bad.

Peter goes on to say:

Customer service is no longer about telling people how great you are. It\’s about producing amazing moments in time, and letting those moments become the focal point of how amazing you are, told not by you, but by the customer who you thrilled.

People are going to share their experiences. What kind of story do you want your customers to tell?

2 thoughts on “Two Tales of Customer Service

  1. Good post! I saw both of these stories today too, and it got me thinking not only about how you can be great at customer service or not, but also about how social media gives you even more opportunities to be great! Or… it could just amplify your problems when you screw up… especially if your customers use Twitter… which they do…

    1. Thanks for mentioning that article – I saw that earlier this week but forgot about it. Most companies just don’t get it.

      You don’t always have to be epic or awesome. But you should be human.

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