Good customer service has become quite rare. That’s why I wanted to point out the excellent customer service I got from LinkedIn. They were incredibly helpful even though I wasn’t actually one of their customers.
I used to have a LinkedIn account. It wasn’t something I used very much, and I had honestly forgotten that I had one. About a year ago, as you may recall, LinkedIn had a security breach and suggested that users change their passwords.
When I went to do that, I realized that I used the service so infrequently that I had no idea what my password was. I managed to sort that out, and then cancelled my LinkedIn account. I just wasn’t using it.
Since then, I’ve gotten email from LinkedIn that tells me that one of their current users wants to connect with me on LinkedIn. For a while, I just ignored them. This week, I got tired of it. Out of frustration, I sent a Tweet to @LinkedIn.
I wasn’t expecting a response, but I got one. @LinkedInHelp replied with a link that I could click on to fill out a ticket that would stop the contact invites. Doing so would put me on their Do Not Contact list. I immediately filed a ticket.
A few days later, I got yet another email from LinkedIn letting me know that one of their users wanted to connect with me. So, I sent another Tweet to @LinkedInHelp about it. The response was fast! @LinkedInHelp asked what my ticket number was, and followed me so I could sent them a direct message with the ticket number.
Not long after that, I got an email from LinkedIn that said my email addresses had been placed on their Do Not Contact list. (I’d been getting contact requests at more than one address). This is impressive, especially considering that they knew that I wasn’t actually one of their customers anymore. Kudos to LinkedIn for great customer service!
In my experience of eating out, it’s all too frequent for the waiting staff to disappear once the main course has been cleared away. By the time a waiter or waitress does eventually re-appear, any desire for dessert or coffee has gone and all I want is the bill. Not only has my evening been spoilt, the restaurant has lost money that I might otherwise have spent with them.
Recently, I was dining at Olio in Belfast and this restaurant seems to have found a solution to the problem with Wirelesswaiting. On each table, there was a small call button to alert staff that attention was required and I found the system worked well. Perhaps the best example was when ordering. Rather than the staff checking to see if we were ready to order and having to go away when we weren’t, once everyone was ready, we pressed the button and a waiter appeared within seconds. Also, when we needed some more drinks, again a quick press of the button and the waiter was back.
I contacted Wirelesswaiting for more information on the product and I was surprised at how inexpensive it really was. A 32-button receiver is £500 ($775) and each wireless button itself is £40 ($60). Obviously installation is straightforward, with only a power socket required for the receiver, as the wireless call buttons are battery powered. From their experience, customer spend typically increases by around 10% and Wirelesswaiting points out that this additional spend is usually on high margin items such as drinks, teas-and-coffees and desserts.
Obviously, this isn’t a perfect panacea as inattentive staff will always be inattentive staff and I suspect that I would be an even more annoyed customer if when I pressed the bell, no-one appeared. Overall though, it seemed to be a good idea that improved the dining experience. Apparently these systems are commonplace in Asia but this was the first time I’d seen the system in the UK so it will be interesting to see if it appears in more restaurants and diners. I can also imagine applications in other service areas, such spas, clubhouses, nursing homes and hospitals.
A friend of mine’s elderly mother experienced “car trouble”. She backed up out of her drive accross the street and into the ditch. Finding herself in the ditch she thought “The steering must have gone out!” Leaving the car in the ditch she went into the house to call her son for help. Upon his arrival she explained that something in the car had broken. So like a good son he crossed the street to inspect. He got in turned the key and it started. He turned the steering wheel and the wheels turned. He put it in drive and pulled the car across the street and back into the drive. His mother of course asked “What was wrong?” My friend replied, “Nothing much, just a short between the seat and the steering wheel.” True story.
The tech application? How many customer service type calls do you field from friends and family about “broken computers” that turn out to be a short between “the seat and the keyboard”? Here is what usually replays for about 80% of my contacts.
- Your computer isn’t working? “Yes . . .yada yada yada . . . MAYBE I JUST NEED A NEW COMPUTER.”
- Well I don’t think it is that severe. “Well I’ve tried everything. It’s never worked right from the beginning.” (Two problems here is that they tried to fix it and made it worse, and the mentality that suddenly it has NEVER worked correctly.)
- I’m pretty sure we can get it straightened out. “I knew you could you are a computer whiz. Why I was just telling. . . .” (Used to give me good feelings now my eyes just roll.)
- Ok what happened is that you did this and this and this. “No I didn’t! You mean that I caused this? I hate these things. Why don’t they make them . . . .”
- So click on the “X” in the upper right hand corner of that window. “What is a window?”
So my thesis of offering computer support? Most of the time it is a short between the seat and the steering wheel.