One of the most frustrating things to deal with when you move is coordinating the set-up and installation of all your utilities. You need to call in advance to disconnect the service at your current location and arrange for a re-connection at your new place. This seems easy enough, but more often than not things get lost in translation.
Over the past two weeks as we moved into our new house I have experienced the good, the bad and the ugly side of customer service.
There was the unbelievable coordination between our satellite provider and the TV delivery and installation crew. One couldn’t be there without the other in order to properly install the wall-mounted TV, yet both companies gave the token “we’ll be there between 8am – 5pm” time frame. Somehow I managed to get them both at our house at 3pm and watched in amazement as they worked together to get the job done. This was good customer service at its finest.
There was the couch that we bought 2 months ago in Calgary and arranged for delivery on our possession date. It didn’t show up for a week and the furniture store passed the buck, blaming the delivery company for the miscommunication. When the couch finally arrived on a commercial transportation truck, the driver basically opened up the back door and dropped the filthy couch on our driveway. Thankfully it was wrapped in plastic and in good condition when we got it inside.
Finally there was TELUS. We contacted TELUS to arrange for the transfer of our internet service to the new house. They couldn’t send a technician out on our possession date, but had someone available to come out two days later. There was an issue installing the fibre-optic cables and the technician couldn’t complete the job.
We re-scheduled someone to come out on Saturday, and again he was unable to complete the job, but promised to return on Monday with another technician and they would get things up and running for us. Late afternoon on Monday I called got a call from TELUS saying that they would not be able to come out that day and they would have to re-schedule for September 9th. Further discussions up the chain of command led nowhere; this was going to be the end of my relationship with TELUS.
Good Customer Service: Finish What You Start
Like many unsatisfied customers in the age of social media, I took my frustrations to Twitter.
The response from TELUS on Twitter was immediate and, although they didn’t resolve my issue at that moment, it showed they were listening and that someone cared. That’s good customer service, on any level.
The amazing thing about social media, specifically Twitter, is that conversations between you and your customers are happening in public for all to see. Ignore the problem and it might just blow up into something bigger. Acknowledge the problem and you might win over more than just one customer. You never know who’s listening.
In this case, a Vice President at TELUS was listening to the conversation and had someone contact me the following morning. They were prepared to send two technicians out to my house that afternoon and complete the installation. A field manager would also be sent out to ensure we were satisfied with the service. They offered a substantial monthly discount for 12 months, which was very generous.
A Remarkable Recovery
The installation was completed in a few hours and TELUS kept our business, likely for a very long time. It’s not very often that an internet service provider or cable company has a chance to lose your business. Most people are happy with the status quo; you need to give them a reason to leave. Making the most of these windows of opportunity separates the good companies from the great ones.
It is incredibly difficult to measure your return on investment with social media, but hopefully TELUS can use this example as a learning opportunity and anticipate these types of problems before they escalate.
Unlike with the furniture company, TELUS made a remarkable recovery and showed that good customer service is about finishing what you start. Yes, the process was ugly, but the result is what counts and TELUS got it right in the end.
Have you ever had a problem resolved after taking your frustrations to Twitter or other social media sites? Any remarkable recoveries to share where you were on the verge of leaving and the company finally made it right? I’d love to hear your story.