Why ATT Is Fabulous and Why Comcast Should Not Be On Twitter.

This is the story of two wonderful people and two ways of handling customers. Because of one this is not a rant, but a piece about good customer service. MYSTERIOUS FORESHADOWING: This piece ends with the rather unlikely event of more than just I ending up as an ATT U-verse customer thanks to ATT-Sarah in Bloomington. First, the setting: @Comcastcares has done a lot of good work from the looks of it. He (and I assume his helpers) have been talked about on podcasts and at blogs around the net for solving problems customers have had that were not solved by Comcast’s standard customer service center. And that’s good. You need to oil the squeaky wheel quickly.  But as part of that process you really should be fixing the cause of all those squeaky wheels. In twitterspeak: #FAIL

Taking Care Of Loyal Customers
When Change Is Imminent

Soon after my son settled on which pacifier would get him through infancy, Playtex decided to make a change.  He had not jumped recklessly into his choice of pacifier.  There was product testing, parental input, style considerations. He reviewed the various alternatives, including the organic, all-natural thumb. Finally he followed his sister’s recommendation and prepared to happily meditate.  Almost immediately trouble started.  First it became difficult to find the pacifier.  We did what any good parents would, and stocked up.  Bought enough to get us through a few months.  And as supplies got low again. Nothing. They were gone. Playtex had discontinued the design.  There was no replacement.  This taught me the meaning of the word panic. Of course this was in the dark ages before the age of hyper-availability and web searches.  I called the company. “Please, you have to start making these things again.” “Sir, we understand, but other designs … Continue reading

It’s Your Best Ad,
It’s Your Most Popular Service,
It’s FREE*

What happens when the web meets doggie day care? Funny how a simple idea can force service transformations. Most pet boarding facilities I’ve seen in the past involve caging and separating pets. Even the ‘pet motel’ concept involved only larger cages or runs and human play time. We’ve all learned a lot from the Pet Whisperer, however. How does that transform a dog boarding business?  It becomes a broadcaster! What better service for customers than to provide top quality programing involving their favorite ‘star.’ Of course now you have to think in terms of how your compound looks on camera, how your staff acts with the dogs, and all sorts of other things that improve overall service! Simple to set up, yet not necessarily something most boarding facilities are comfortable with, the concept has generated other businesses focused on providing the technology and advice needed to make the idea a … Continue reading

Strengthening The Relationship
Even When Things Go Terribly Wrong

I’m not easily impressed – especially when I feel as if everything is going wrong. But in the end I have to grudgingly tip my hat to ComEd’s Customer Service Group even though I’m sitting here with only half power 6 days after the storm. Did ComEd’s electronic response system make mistakes? Looks like it. Did individual ComEd reps make mistakes? Looks like it. Did the customer (me) make mistakes? Probably. First, about my problem – Why am I still at half power? Turns out an electrical spike fried my breaker box. Unfortunately, ComEd kept saying the power disruption was their issue until about 5 pm yesterday so I delayed calling an electrician. I’m writing this from a computer that is running off a series of extension cords strung from from a kitchen outlet that is also running my fridge and stove. I had never heard of half power before, … Continue reading

What Makes A Great Trade Show Booth

Floor space, budget, image, key messages, partners, neighbors, product display, education… The list can go on for quite a while. All matter. All must be optimized. But the key factor to a great trade show booth is the people who are there to talk to prospects. In small booths it’s easy to make the mistake of putting a table between you and the aisle, adding a few folding chairs and creating a situation where prospects must actively try and grab your attention. Be standing, make it easy to shake hands. In larger booths its easy for personnel to gather deep inside the space, forcing prospects to walk-in and around before being greeted. Yes, the prospects that make it that far are more likely to be interested. And unfortunately yes, the marginal prospect has walked past. Booth design strategy must take into account ways to encourage your peoples’ natural ‘outgoingness.’ The … Continue reading