Are You Giving Customers a “Thanks for Letting Us Know Kiss-Off”?

I love synchronicity – those moments when things just seem to come together at the right time. Mike Sansone forwarded me Marketing Prof’s piece about CSRs needing to be empowered to resolve customer issues. The profs were using the example of Seth Godin, who was having problems with Apple (Wha!? Apple providing bad service?! May it NEVER be!?) who can’t seem to resolve an issue with the download of his newest tome.

To quote the marketing profs:

notes that most customer service agents would love to solve problems,
but that they’re frequently hampered by rules or procedures that
prevent anything more than a polite thanks-for-letting-us-know kiss-off
. Don’t let that happen in your company."

Then I receive the following run-on (run-away!) sentence (complete with typos) from Six Flags regarding the issues I had at my recent visit:

"Thank you for your comments regarding your recent visit to Six Flags.  We are dedicated to providing a fun-filled day that goes beyond your expectations. On behalf of the entire Six Flags Management Team, I sincerely apologize that we did not meet that goal and we hope that you will not allow this one experience to diminish your impression of Six Flags. We appreciate your concern about the cleanliness of the park during your visit.  Keeping the park spotless is a top priority at Six Flags and anything less is unacceptable. Please be assured that we will give the area you mentioned immediate attention as to provide quality meals to our guests. Everyone is conscious of getting good value for their money. We recognize this, and hope you will accept our assurance that we are constantly striving to provide you with top quality family entertainment at a reasonable price. It is unfortunate that on the day you visited many of our attractions were not running.  Our Operations Team wor  ks very hard to make sure each and every ride meets our strict safety standards.  We understand the frustration of a family trying to find rides that the whole family can ride together.  We apologize for this inconvenience. Once again I thank you for your time expressing your concerns and I hope that you do come see us again soon."

World-class customer service requires more than a "thanks for letting us know kiss-off". It requires resolution:

  1. Describe the exact actions that have been taken to address the issue.
  2. Provide the current status of the actions being taken to resolve the issue.
  3. Give an accurate estimate of the time it will take to fix the problem.
  4. Promise to notify the customer when the issue is resolved.

Customers want courteous, friendly service – but it must come hand in hand with resolution of the issue!

  2 comments for “Are You Giving Customers a “Thanks for Letting Us Know Kiss-Off”?

  1. June 25, 2007 at 9:21 am

    4 Important Questions

    Tom Vander Well at QA QNA riffs about his recent bad experience at Six Flags. The real power of his post is the four steps that he proposes are requirements for world-class customer service. These are powerful, and we will

  2. July 12, 2007 at 10:50 am

    How to Respond to Customer Problem or Bug Reports

    You probably get incoming emails and calls all the time from external and internal customers. Often, these can be reports of problems or bugs in your product or service.
    I read a great blog post recently titled Are You Giving Customers a Thanks …

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