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12/31/2005

Best Customer Service Ever?

Filed under: — 1:18 am

Kudos to Southwest, I just called them (at 11pm MST) and not only was my call picked up immediately (after a breif blurb about SouthWest and two rings) but I had everything I needed in less than two minutes. The airline is obviously proud of their phone service because the following is found on their website:

Call us traditional, but we elect to steer clear of the chat-style, respond-on-demand, quick casual format and focus on meaningful Customer dialogue. This is not because we don’t care. It’s because that style counters our commitment to Customer Service.

Let me point out this is the polar opposite of Amazon.com where a phone number is nowhere to be found.

…and let me also mention that the lady had a very friendly voice (no accent of any kind) and wished me a good night. If you’re in Ireland or India, it doesn’t matter, odds are they wouldn’t know it’s night here.

PS: College students immediately receive 4 credits on their Rapid Rewards program. (In other words, I’ve already earned 25% of my first reward.)

10/18/2005

Customer Service Hardly Consistent

Filed under: — 11:22 am

It really irritates me when I call a company and they ask me something different every time. For example, the other day I called Adobe to get an activation code for a product (it was an upgrade, I had to verify it). The first time I was asked for the serial number of the upgrade and then I realized I didn’t have the serial for the product being upgraded. I found it and came back later. This time when I called they asked for all the registration information for the product. I had to verify the street address and everything… and then I was transferred? Once transferred I was asked for the customer ID which pulled up everything. This time I didn’t even need to really tell them anything (except the fact that, yes, I had a good weekend, thanks!). I was quickly given my code and sent on my way.

…but I talked to three people to accomplish this.

…each one beginning the conversation with different questions.

I’ve run into this problem at T-Mobile, Comcast, you name it. Why are these supposed “scripts” so inconsistent? One time at Comcast I only need to provide an account number, the second time I need to verify the account with the last four of my roommate’s SSN (name on the bill). What a pain!

10/11/2005

The Power of Personalization

Filed under: — 11:45 pm

I mentioned before that I feel the perfect iPod-killer would be the customizable MP3 player. Heck, if we can change our cars why not our $300 gadget? Music is one of the largest ways to demonstrate our unique personalities, desires, tastes. Why would the corresponding device be the same for everyone?

Anyway, my point is we get so much content tailored to our desires these days. RSS allows it. Even though many users don’t know what RSS is, their online subscription to the NY Times is powered by it! We pick what we want. Even though people are watching plenty of TV these days they’re TiVo’ing it and MCE’ing it. That way we can go back and watch what we want when we want it.

I was re-introduced to Yahoo! Music the other day. I’ve used LAUNCHcast to check out some music videos and stuff but lately I realized how powerful the customizable radio station is. After listening to music all afternoon (and a goofy ad here and there) I’ve started to teach Yahoo! what I really enjoy. I just listen through a song and give the song and artist a star rating. In a few more days I’ll have the perfect Devin-station. It has a little rap, a little rock, some pop, a mix of alternative. Yahoo understands me! This is perfect! I wish I could take it in the car with me!

I realized Amazon was one of the first to understand this. I hop onto the front page and I see the new Family Guy DVD. Heck yes I wan’t to order it and what else? Yes Amazon, I do want a copy of Seth Godin’s new book, too. Brilliant.

Sources: Amazon.com, Yahoo! Music

8/17/2005

Keep Your Hotel Key

Filed under: — 1:46 pm

The Sabre Geek himself, Gary Potter, points to an blog article that may be slightly concerning.

Southern California law enforcement professionals assigned to detect new threats to personal security issues recently discovered what type of information is embedded in the credit-card-type hotel room keys used throughout the hotel industry.

Apparently part of your address and credit card information are stored on the cards. Hotels don’t erase these cards… they just write over them. Simple solution? It’s about time you started you hotel key-card collection…

Update: Recently brought to my attention:

Aaron says:
Quite a few references indicate that this is another email hoax:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/k/keycards.htm
http://www.breakthechain.org/exclusives/keycards.html
http://www.snopes.com/crime/warnings/hotelkey.asp

Thanks for the interesting discussions…

8/16/2005

It’s Offical: Dell Sucks

Filed under: — 10:00 pm

but we already knew that, Jason. It’s not that new; Jeff is just another customer… you meant “they’re all right”, right?

Read the article at ComputerWorld.

Cold Stone Hardly Consistent

Filed under: — 9:34 pm

I had an interesting experience the other day while trying to get some ice cream. First things first, going to Cold Stone always reminds me of an article about the company and how it has lost its charm. Basically it pointed out how the staff singing for tips lacks any sort of enthusiasm… they sing because they have to, its forced. Sadly, Cold Stone used to be a very customer-centric company and since its recent explosion the quality has started to slide.

..so here we are. Two of my friends have a coupon for ‘buy one get one free’. My roommate and I actually got it from a ‘Student Discount Book’ on campus. I had an identical coupon. The young girl behind the counter goes to ring up my friends’ ice cream… pauses, glances at the back… and proceeds. It cost them roughly $5 for the two. I knew why she glanced. We “accidently” brought a coupon that is for the Boulder creamery (we weren’t in Boulder). She hesitated but proceeded and I watched it all.

Our friendly server had a big smile, was much more outgoing, had a nice conversation with him. As he goes to ring us up he says “you’re going to hate me, but…” he denied our coupon. The girl who accepted it just 15 seconds earlier was standing there and says “oooh yeah, I accidently took one of those”.

…I was beyond expression. I didn’t argue, I didn’t know even where to start. I just payed the $10 and left.

… you did it once and you won’tdo it again? You’ll stand there and admit that to a customer? In other words there was no problem with the coupon less than a minute ago!

Figure it out, Cold Stone… I wonder if anyone is listening?

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