"Like little kids begging mom for a treat after a skinned knee, the newly empowered consumer feels compelled to share every slight, no matter how small or how imagined," Seth Godin wrote in his blog post "Giving umbrage" earlier this week.
That got me thinking about the challenges companies face in their attempts to consistently deliver a satisfactory customer experience--and that customers should give credit to companies for the good stuff when it happens. Take Time Warner Cable as an example. In an industry not known for its customer centricity, Time Warner Cable certainly deals with its share of customers who are unhappy with big issues like pricing. But as customer service goes, I'm compelled to give kudos based on two recent experiences that I had with the company: 1. I recently made some changes to my home wireless network. During the switch things went a bit haywire. I called Time Warner Cable's tech support for assistance. Even though the problem turned out to be with the setting for my Apple wireless router, the tech support rep stayed on the phone with me for about half hour until we got the settings figured out. To me, that's taking service above and beyond.
2. Last week my neighbor had his roof redone. In the process the roofers accidentally disconnected my cable line. Time Warner's repairman didn't just fix the break in the cable, but replaced a whole length of more than two stories worth of wire to ensure that the situation wouldn't happen again. Like the tech support rep, he took an extra step to deliver great service. And to top it off, there was no fee.
Yes, consumers should call out companies for poor service, and especially for big issues like, as Godin said in his post, "business models built on misleading people." But they should also give credit when the customer experience goes right.