Constant Contact Story – Hasty Decisions Can Cost Big

Constant Contact Salesperson got the better of me.

I decided to sign-up for Constant Contact through the link for the Savings Program link on my Elgin Area Chamber site. Check out becoming a member of this great chamber if you aren’t already. I would get a 25% discount and 60 days free to prep my list of contacts, setup my templates and mentally prepare to send emails.

The next morning, I received a phone call at 9:45AM from a Constant Contact salesperson telling me they were my “guide” to make sure I had blah blah blah. I told the person before they got into their spiel that I had a 10AM conference webinar that I was hosting.  I indicated to the person with which I was speaking that I had only a few minutes to complete the call before I needed to prep for my webinar. To be polite I stayed on the phone with the rep to answer some questions. He wanted to schedule a walk through call for me as I had previous experience with Constant Contact. He didn’t bother to tell me that that walk-through was part of the Email Plus plan and since I was in a hurry, I didn’t ask. He told me I needed to have a paid account before I was able to have that appointment scheduled. He made it sound like the appointment times were very rare and I agreed to get my account paid for right away. As I felt rushed I was not asking the appropriate questions about which level of account I was signing up for. I logged into my account and entered my credit card information because I refuse to give to anyone that initiates a call with me my credit card number of out of principle. I was charged $430. I was expecting $180. I finally hung-up on the guy at 9:57AM. I felt anxious, nervous and frustrated.

I had an out of office meeting to attend. When I returned, I saw a “Thanks for your payment” email. When I opened it and saw the $430 amount, I about hit the ceiling. I called and had to cancel my account because I was planning on using the 2 free months to get everything set-up and then pay for a year at the end of the trial period. Now I have to set-up a new account. Fortunately, the Customer Service Rep told me she would make it so that I can use my email address again to set-up the new account. She exported the list with all of the data points of the people I had already entered because I was only getting parts of the data. Let’s see if the CSR comes up with her end of the bargain!

So this is my story to you:

  • Don’t do anything in haste. Make them call you back.
  • I am totally disappointed in the practice that was demonstrated by the young man to whom I was speaking. AND that I let him.
  • I will set up another account,
  • I will use my 60 day free trial, and,
  • I will get my 25% discount.

In the survey I received, I let them know that I wrote this blog article and that it will get posted to my social media. I can’t fault the company, only their rep. I have to accept partial responsibility for this because I was less cautious than I normally am.

Another Example of how to do customer service correctly

Sharing bad examples of customer service is the norm.

I want to break that mold. I want to share an example of how a company did customer service correctly!

My husband wasn’t feeling well and didn’t want the left-overs I was going to prepare for dinner. He suggested pizza. Since I am gluten-free, we have limited choices of places that can serve both regular for him and gluten-free for me. I called around a couple of places looking for some new options, but we finally settled on Lou Malnati’scustomer service

I went to the website and ordered through the on-line system and picked a time to pick-up. I double checked the order because of past experiences.

At the appointed time, I made my way to the Elgin carry-out location. I only had to wait about 2 minutes. I saw my small gluten-free box and a larger box for the deep dish. I didn’t check inside either box because Lou’s is always very good about getting things right. I should have checked! Note to self: always check – people make mistakes.

I got home about 10 minutes later, opened the box and discovered there was only one ingredient correct from the order. I called the store right away. I had printed out the order that I had placed. Double checked that to be sure I hadn’t missed checking an appropriate box.

They asked me if I wanted a rush order, I said that would be too late and they immediately offered up a coupon for the next time we ordered. On top of that they credited my charge card for the wrong pizza that we received.

The best part was I didn’t have to ask. I did request some clarification because, I thought I was just getting a coupon for a free pizza, but then they said they will credit my card AND the coupon.

I just wanted to give props to good customer services and a company that empowers its employees to make things right for the customers.

Instead of Lou to go, it is way to go Lou!

Giving Props to Great Customer Service

Epson wins a High Five for Great Customer Service!

I purchased my Epson printer because of the multi-function capabilities Great Customer Serviceand the dual paper trays. It had a ton of functionality for a great price point. And the size worked for our home office.

I used it hard and heavy. We have two businesses in our home and I was printing daily, multiple copies of things for at least one of the businesses, sometimes both – and church!

I started having problems with the print nozzles and the paper feed was going a little wonky. I tried to fix things by doing the nozzle head spray adjustments for about two months. Things were not improving.

Finally, I called customer support. They talked me through a few things that I had done previously and then a couple of things that I had not. It was recommended to let the machine sit overnight unplugged to “clear” the cobwebs. The next morning I fired the machine back up and the same poor printing was happening. I called back to customer service with my reference number.

After reporting what I had done that morning, they broke the bad news that my printer had a bad print head. They said I was out of warranty. (I called one month and one day after the warranty expired.) Without me even asking, they escalated my tech support call to another department. The woman asked a few questions and said, ok, we will overnight a new printer to you. You can just recycle the old printer. We are taking the serial number out of commission.

My new printer showed up by 10:30 the next morning and I have it set-up. The printing is beautiful again!

This was a bright spot in my week, because I sure didn’t want to have to shop for another printer. I liked this one!

Thanks EPSON!! You have won a lifetime customer!

Customer Service and Social Media

How does social media impact your Customer Service?

Recently, I ordered carry-out from a local Mexican restaurant. The customer service wasn’t the best. I want to show you the impact of social media as a result of my poor experience.

I have written about customer service before, as it relates to my life and social media. You can read one post here that is a great example of how it can be done. Another article is here.

Before the days of social media, if you were happy with what happened at an establishment, you might tell 2 people. If you were unhappy, you might tell 10 people. Your circle of influence wasn’t that large. If you were really unhappy, the time frame of your sharing might be longer, so the number might rise to 20 or 30 people who heard about your bad experience. Once social media came around, that number that you reach is as broad as your knowledge of how to post a review about a business on the variety of social outlets where they can be found, or haven’t found yet.

Let’s go back to my sad story. Early this year I chose to go gluten free on the advice of my wheat-995055_1280homeopath. That means that I avoid wheat, barley and rye. I have found that I do react negatively if I ingest one of those. There is this thing called cross-contamination where even if I don’t actually eat it, if it touches the food I do eat, it can cause me distress as well.

All of that back story to say this – I ordered enchiladas to go (corn doesn’t affect me). I got to the restaurant. I gave them my order number. The lady checked my ticket. There was only one order waiting. She grabbed it and bagged up my chilies, chips and salsa, and my dinners. I paid my bill and left. (Notice I did not check inside the container.)

When I got home, 20 minutes later, I unpacked my order, opened the container and saw burritos. (Made with flour tortillas – flour is bad for me!) I called the restaurant. They immediately knew who I was because I got another persons order that was very similar – two meals, chips and salsa. They told me I was welcome to come back to get my order. I said, I would prefer not to drive round trip another 40 minutes. I asked if they would provide a credit the next time I was in. The young man told me “We can’t give you a credit, because you would get free food.” I told the young man, I would probably not come back – EVER.

I posted in a Facebook group called What’s Happening in Elgin. I gave them a negative review on Yelp and Google. I am writing about it here on my blog and will share this on Pinterest, Facebook, G+, and LinkedIn.

Now, here are my observations.

  1. People can be rude and crude. You may use foul language in person, FB cs 2but it should not be used to make a point in a public forum. You never know who is going to read your post. If you don’t care how you sound to others, that is fine, but it can come back to bite you in the behind. Would you want your grandmother to read what you wrote?
  2. People stick up for the underdog – not always seeing both sides of a story.
  3. Arguing on social media never usually works out. If someone complains in a public forum and you are the business, you should always take it off-line as soon as possible. You can respond by saying, please call me at xx number at your earliest convenience, I would like to resolve this matter.
  4. There may be a cultural difference or a generational difference between how people perceive good customer service or good will. Many of the people in the Facebook thread thought that it was totally my fault for not checking my bag before I left OR the offer to come back and get my original meal was dealing with the situation properly. The fact that I should have been overjoyed at the chance to drive back to pick up my meal was what they considered good customer. Would they have made me a fresh meal or would I have been given the original meal (which by the time I got back home the second time would have been over an hour old).
  5. If you “react”, wait before you post. Apparently the owner’s wife posted a negative FB cscomment in the thread, changed her mind and deleted it, but not before someone got a screen shot and reposted it. AND refer to point #3.
  6. Sometimes,FB cs 5 apologizing is all that it takes to right a wrong. While the owner of the business never actually apologized, the owner of the sister business sent me a private message. Refer to #3 above. I responded to her as soon as I saw the message, assuring her, that her facility was not in question. While this did not make up for the fact that I never heard from the business itself, it gives me faith that some people do pay attention to social media and what it can do to their business. Perhaps if I hear from the actual business owner, I might go in and take down my reviews.
  7. Posting an opinion on social media does not mean you are trying to close a business down. Remember my comment from earlier about telling 10 people if you are upset? Now, posting to social media about your experiences is the norm. Peer recommendations fuel whether you are going to use a product or service. Peer recommendations get you FB cs3everything from a new dog groomer to a Mexican restaurant. Many people ask how to do things, where to find things, sell items, or buy items. This is evidenced in the decline of classified advertising in newspapers. When was the last time you bought an item because of a commercial you saw? When was the last time you ate at a restaurant because you saw that a friend of yours had checked-in. The power of social media to drive people to a business is growing exponentially.
  8. People care. One person made the comment that this isn’t Chicago, no one cares aboutFB cs4 my reviews. I advise people all the time to check their reviews. If they have a negative review about their business, they need to work on getting others to add positive reviews. If you are not concerned about what is showing up on the internet, then you aren’t concerned about your business. Google reviews show up in Google searches and Facebook reviews show up in Bing searches. Yelp has a growing following. Reviews on platforms like Urban Spoon or other new platforms, may be out there and you don’t know what people are saying about you.  My answer to that particular poster that no one cares about my review is – you don’t know who I know. You don’t know my level of influence – my Klout. You don’t know who might see my comment and change their mind based upon my words or someone else’s opinion of a business you are about to frequent. Just because the place is a small local establishment, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t care about what people are saying. “They don’t need you” as one poster says, may be right, but if enough of me’s get treated improperly, it will have an effect upon that business.
  9. One comment can go viral – be ready for damage control. Again, refer to #3 above. SM commentsThere was an incident a few years ago where a singer’s guitar was damaged by an airline. He wrote a song and posted it to YouTube. Over 15 million views later, this is a great example of what can happen if you don’t care of business. Now my small local post only garnered a fraction of that kind of response, but it is still a relatively significant number compared to when something goes right.

Does what people might say about your business on social media impact your customer service?

Overall, this was a good exercise to see how social media and customer service work together. As some of you know, I speak publicly. I tell a story about my experience with a “utility” provider. I tell this story at least once a month for the last 3 years. This story is going into my repertoire as an example of how to control your reputation. A little positive public relations can go a long way!

Great Customer Service 2015

Do you let people know when you receive great customer service?

Christmas 2015 is over and now the returns begin. While customer service should be great all year long in your business, there are times, when things are more hectic in your business, as in retail, that sometimes things may get overlooked.  Let me share a recent experience with you so that I can applaud two companies that went above and beyond in my opinion.

I ordered some personalized books from for my grandson’s first Christmas. I ordered them early enough for a timely arrival. I received a notification that the books had shipped, but couldn’t open the details to find out when they were coming exactly. Low and behold they arrived on December 17. Unfortunately, it was not a great result.

I was teaching a LinkedIn workshop, had an appointment and then a meeting. The dogs were in customer service for destroyed bookstheir space for the day which gives them access to the driveway. The truck pulled up to deliver the package. I am sure that our dogs were greeting them with their barks. During the season, UPS brings on extra helpers. The big black barking dogs may not have made the UPS helper or driver comfortable. A package tossed may have looked like a play toy. As you can see from the pictures, the results were not good.

After a very long day, I arrived home and was in tears looking at the results of what I thought would be a special present for my grandson’s first Christmas. I was heartsick that even if I ordered again they wouldn’t arrive in time to open on Christmas.

I waited until the next morning. First I called UPS. The first customer service person was great! I ended up having to make a couple of calls because I called before the claims department was open. While I was trying to explain what happened, I couldn’t control the tears. They told me that they would handle the claim with the shipper.

Next I had to wait for the customer service department to open at Put Me in the Story. When I spoke with them and tearfully explained that I wouldn’t have the present for my grandson’s first Christmas, they said they were placing a reprint order as we spoke. She couldn’t guarantee the books arrival, but they would replace them at no charge.

Guess what?!! The books arrived on the 22nd of December. I was home to receive the delivery and my grandson got to open his present on Christmas day.

That is what I call great customer service all the way around!!!


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