Recently, I received the most incredible customer service.
It happened on Twitter.
Over a weekend.
And, perhaps the most incredible thing about this entire story?
This amazing customer service came from my Internet/cable/wireless provider.
Here in Canada, we like our lives run by huge monopolies.
LOL! Did I just say we like it?
Sorry, I mean our government likes it.
We only have a couple of airlines to choose from.
Our beer and liquor market is heavily controlled. We can’t nip out for a few cans or a bottle of wine at our local grocery store. No, we have to go to The Beer Store for beer, and, in my case, to the Liquor Control Board of Ontario for anything stronger.
And our wireless carriers are few and far between (granted, this is starting to change, but has a long way to go).
The two biggies: Bell (no relation, sadly) and Rogers are notorious for the way they control how and what Canadians see and hear on their various devices.
Our cable TV is insanely expensive, with channels packaged into ridiculous bundles. Guaranteed, you really only want—or watch—seven out of the 80 odd channels they force you to purchase.
It should be noted that when I say monopoly, I’m not kidding around. Both Rogers and Bell are media conglomerates.
Bell Media owns 30 local television stations; 35 specialty channels; and four pay TV services. It’s also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada.
Rogers Cable is the largest cable television provider in Canada, also offering high-speed Internet access, residential telephone services, and video retailing. Rogers Media holds businesses in radio and television broadcasting, televised shopping, publishing and sports entertainment. Rogers Wireless is Canada’s largest voice and data communications services provider.
Maybe they’re spread a little thin?
Do a quick Twitter search on any day of the week and you’ll find Internet service disrupted somewhere in the city, for no apparent reason.
Last Friday, Rogers’ TV, Internet, and phone services went down for over four hours, due to “technical issues.”
And last week Danny Brown posted this on his Facebook, about a recent experience with Bell:
Pretty indicative of the frustrations all Canadians feel at some point or another.
The Apple Approach
Anyhow, my wireless provider is Rogers who are known, pretty much across the board, for their horrendous customer service.
So when I realized that my data usage was all over the map and couldn’t figure out why, I reached out—on the weekend—to their @RogersHelps (giggle!) Twitter handle.
Remember: It was the weekend. And, as Jay Baer wrote about recently, when 1,200+ customers who complained on Twitter were polled, nearly 70 percent reported never hearing anything back. Nothing.
I expected crickets.
What I got instead, was a veritable symphony of help and guidance.
Apple stores are known to have a strict training regimen they put their customer service reps through, and the following five steps are at its heart:
A – Approach customers with a personalized, warm welcome.
P – Probe politely to understand all the customer’s needs.
P – Present a solution for the customer to take home today.
L – Listen for and resolve any issues or concerns.
E – End with a fond farewell and an invitation to return.
Five Steps to Customer Service Success
The Rogers rep I lucked out on that day did all of the above and more. For the sake of this post I’m going to call her a “she.” I don’t know why. She just seemed like a she.
Step 1: She was super friendly. I did receive one tweet originally that was “blah blah corporate speak we don’t care,” but shortly after, she reached out and immediately asked if we could take it offline, and DM about the issue.
Step 2: She asked all the right questions, and actually listened to my concerns. Where many companies, especially in the digital space, tend to push back and try to make the issue your fault (surely you’ve done something wrong!), she didn’t.
Step 3: She immediately set about resolving the mystery of the missing data. When a link she sent me to a secure portal didn’t work (remember, it’s the weekend!), I thought “Oh, I won’t hear back now!” Within five minutes of me letting her know, she had sent me the correct link, and was able to keep me moving through the help process.
Step 4: Not only did she figure out what the problem was (let’s just say my teenage son was chewing up a lot of data on our shared plan. And NO, I don’t want to know!), she went out of her way to tweak my current plan, providing me with double the amount of data, at a lower price than what I had been paying! What? Simply unheard of.
Step 5: She definitely ended with a fond farewell, as we both had a bit of a laugh over the teenage son thing, and by the time our backchannel conversation was over I felt like I wanted to be her best friend!
All of this over the course of a Saturday and Sunday.
I’ve become a bit of a raving lunatic of love towards Rogers this week!
I’ve been telling everyone who will listen about this amazing customer service. And, just like that, they have risen in my estimation.
Want to know what’s going to happen the next time my Internet cacks out, or I groan at that cable bill full of channels I don’t watch?
I’m going to think of my last customer service experience. How great it was. And my cold, cranky heart will soften.
Just a little. But it will soften.
So companies, listen up. Take a lesson from Apple and from Rogers.
You should want your customers’ hearts to soften every now and again, too.
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