David Armano is a rock star blogger, big thinker and bastion bonhomie. I’d originally planned to include David’s recent experience dealing with Comcast in my roundup of social tools yesterday. But, I, um… forgot. I’m glad I did. Because when re-reading David’s excellent post I found the even more excellent comment from Alan Wolk I’d missed the first time through. To wit:
David: While I agree with your points on this, I can’t help wondering why the non-Twitter/Frank customer service experience has to be so awful. I mean if they’d put you through to a live person (versus an endless phone chain) or given you accurate information in the first place, would Franks’ intervention have seemed so magical?
It can’t be a good thing for a brand to have such wildly divergent customer service experiences. I’d suggest they look at the benefits of what Frank is doing on Twitter and build from there.
Oh, Mr. Wolk. You, sir, receive highest marks. While so many of us wrapped up in the Interwebs sometimes forget it, online is only part of the total customer experience.
Once, in a past life, I was confronted by a young brand manager and asked why our e-commerce site didn’t better reflect “the brand experience.” I asked the young manager to describe the brand experience. HIs answer: a blank stare. Looking to your website – or a social media channel, or an on online campaign, or what-have-you – to sell an experience that doesn’t exist is like using Kleenex as an umbrella. You might get away with it once. But it won’t last.
Obviously, the Web is a critical component of the overall customer experience. And social tools play an increasingly strong role, especially, as David’s post illustrates, in the area of customer loyalty. Failing to address these in the long-run will cost you dearly.
But, what Alan Wolk reminds us is customer experience is the sum of your customer’s interactions with your business. Sure, you might do well in some areas. But each failed interaction provides your competitors an opportunity, a toehold, a beachhead towards providing your customers a better experience. It’s great Comcast gave David an alternative way to get help. But it would be better altogether if they didn’t need it.
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