The number one word in customer service is……
- Ass-kissing? (say whatever it takes to make the customer feel like #1… even if you don’t believe it)
- Capitulation? (to the insane demands of angry customers)
- Freebies? (just stuff ‘em full of free crap!)
- Speed? (get ‘em in and out… like a restaurant turning a table).
Not exactly. The number one word in customer service is LISTEN. (Word number 1a is “caring” – a subject for another blog post). I won’t work with anyone that I feel isn’t listening to me.
And it happens all the time. For example, an insurance rep will call and want to set up an appointment with me. I’ll tell them that we just renewed, and that our next renewal is in 11 months, and that I’d like to call them at that time. They don’t like that – they want to be able to call me once every month or two, and they really want to meet soon. I’ll tell them no, I just don’t have a need for a meeting right now, but this does not deter them from completing their multi-step tenderization of me. Two “no’s” are not the same as three “no’s.” There’s usually some number of no’s that they’re told to finally give up on. This sucks, and customer service sucks because of it.
By the way, as an entrepreneur, there are awesome new customer service tools at our disposal, and one of the best is Twitter.
I’m watching the 2010 Daytona 500, and there’s talk of the return of bump drafting. Apparently this makes racing slightly more dangerous, and tremendously more fun. I think it was previously outlawed, but is now back for the 2010 NASCAR season. One of my favorite Twitter practices is to jump on Twitter and search for keywords that are what I call “hyper-timely.” If LeBron has a REDONK slam, I’ll do a search for LeBron and read the “wow!” tweets. As an aside, I actually like to respond to the tweets, engaging total strangers about a subject (LeBron) that we’re both passionate about.
So immediately after Fox ran a piece about the 2010 rule changes, I jumped on Twitter, and there was an instantaneous (mostly) positive response to the return of bump drafting.
My question is twofold:
- Do you think anyone from NASCAR, or the Social Media or Marketing agency they’ve hired, is paying attention to their customers today by monitoring Twitter in real time?
- Do you think it would be a good idea for someone at NASCAR to be responding to these tweets, both the positive and negative ones, with thank-yous and such?
The answer to #1 is mixed. In looking at NASCAR’s Twitter feed, it doesn’t look like they engage very much. The only recent “@” responses I see are two where they’re apologizing for misspelling a driver’s wife’s name. There are a few other “@” responses where they’re telling people that they’re merging their @NASCAR and @NASCARsays Twitter accounts. Bottom line – they are not doing nearly enough with their Twitter account.
The answer to #2 is “Hell to the YES!” And it’s rather simple work. If they have someone asking a technical question about bump drafting, or someone posting heavily negative comments, it might take someone more experienced than an intern to craft the response messages. But other than that, NASCAR should get out there and interact with its raving fans!
Small businesses might not see 20 response tweets about their businesses within 10 seconds of making a big announcement, but you can listen to and interact with your customers using Twitter, just like NASCAR could. This is a central part of my company’s growth strategy, and I can assure you it’s working.