Customer Service – A Promise That Companies Need To Keep

Who actually reads blogs?

I mean, not just people looking for stories that are not in the mainstream media. I mean which corporations are reviewing the state of play for their brand, their products, and their reputation.

I know that Telstra does, because when I blogged about a problem with Telstra a couple of months ago, I got quicker action (by way of a phone call) than when I tried to contact someone in Telstra by phone. Which when you think about it is an interesting indictment in itself since Telstra is fundamentally a carrier of voice traffic…

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was in the Supermarket and bought a packet of chips – a new brand of kettle chips that is marketed as “premium, low fat, real potato chips with only 5% fat on average”. With that kind of promise, how could I resist?

The problem was that they were absolute crap. They had that consistency that you get when chips are stale of not being crunchy. A total disappointment. Fortunately, when I looked on the back of the package there was a big panel that boldly stated that “Sultry Sally's Deli Chip Company (TM) guarantee the finest quality products. If you have any questions or concerns please call us on 1800 46 72559 or email sally@sultrysally.com

I decided to email the company and to make a complaint. Since they were clearly interested in providing a real customer service experience, why not?

Problem is, that after a week I haven't had a reply to my email.

So I am hoping that someone at the company is actually awake and checking blog activity. Hello, up there at Sultry Sally, come on down. Your customer is talking to you. And he is not happy.

My advice to unwary shoppers: Don't buy this product. And tell your friends not to buy it too!

And if you have a customer service complaint don't call the company, blog about it.

Here is why:

If you phone the company, only you and the operator know about the complaint.

If you blog about it, all your readers know about the problem. And they tell each other, and so on, and not only that, the blog stays alive forever, whereas the phone call is an ephemeral event that disappears into the ether as soon as the phone is hung up.

Brand politics will never be the same. Companies that are not paying attention to the promise that they ad agencies encourage them to make will find that their promises will come back to haunt them. That's a promise!

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