In the world we’re living in today, brands can’t afford to have bad customer experiences. In my marketing class last week, we discussed how it costs 5x more to acquire new customers than keep existing ones, and that a bad experience that a loyal customer has, could not only cost you their business, but also anyone who runs in that customer’s circles (i.e. word of mouth/social media posts).
In the last few months, there were two instances in particular that stand out to me regarding customer service and loyalty. As a customer, they were pretty rotten experiences, but the companies did right by me. Here’s what happened.
Remember back in November when I flew up to Philly for a surprise trip to visit my grandparents? It was one of the last flights out for the night (a little after 9 p.m.) but fortunately we got off the ground early. Around the time we were supposed to be landing, I felt like we were starting to circle. A few announcements later (after midnight) we got the official announcement. We were landing – only in Pittsburgh, not Philly, due to visibility issues. Upon landing, we were informed we needed to deplane and get on a new plane with a new crew since ours had timed out. When we got to the new gate, we soon learned that the “other” crew had also timed out and that nobody else would be available until first thing in the morning. So, we all set up camp at the gate to wait the few hours until our new 5:30 a.m. departure time.
At this point, nothing was open at the airport, and I was quick to point out that it’d be helpful if we could get some snacks/drinks since we were stranded (and also I hadn’t eaten dinner since I planned on grabbing a late one when we landed in Philly, #starving). A couple gate agents hung with us all night (despite it being past their shifts as well), keeping us well fed on plane snacks and drinks, reissuing boarding passes, and dealing with crazy people who were incredibly angry about the situation. It was frustrating for sure, but worse things have happened, so I sat there chatting with an elderly couple while munching on my airplane snacks.
The agents informed us that we should reach out to Southwest’s customer service team, but that we’d likely hear from them first about our rough night. Less than 24 hours later, I received an email apologizing for the bad experience and was told that I’d be receiving a voucher to make up for it within the next day or so. Sure enough, I received a $100 voucher from the airline to use for a future booking. Mind you, I snagged a great deal on the flight up at under $80, so despite it being a rough night, the flight ended up essentially being free and I now have some additional funds to use for a future flight! Just another reason why Southwest is my favorite!
This one required a little more legwork on my end, but still resulted in a happy ending. A package was sent out to me for a business opportunity, but since it required a signature, I rescheduled the delivery for a date I knew I’d be home to intercept the package. The selected date came and went and still no sign of the package. I called UPS and was directed to someone in the local center who said they messed up and that she’d “personally” keep an eye and make sure the package would get to me for the new rescheduled date.
The new date comes around and I check the tracking to make sure it’s “out for delivery.” Instead, I find that UPS sent my package BACK to the original sender instead of delivering it to me. Frustrated, I called again, only to find that despite them rerouting my package, they’d be unable to reroute it back to me. WHAT A NIGHTMARE.
Because of the mess up, I was going to miss my deadline for my business opportunity, so UPS offered to send me a check for the total amount of the revenue I’d be missing to make up for it, to not only keep my business, but also the business of the original sender. I did have no less than 12 class (not even exaggerating) with them, and had to explain my situation several times before I finally got one person on the line who gave me their direct line and totally took care of the situation. While it was an incredibly frustrating situation, I really appreciate how it was handled in the end!
Have you had a bad customer experience that was turned into a win?
I’ve teamed up with some blogger friends to give you the chance to win a prize you’re going to love — a $200 Starbucks Gift Card!
Are you a blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to join the VIP Email List for details on how to be included in the next giveaway opportunity!
Prize: $200 Starbucks Gift Card
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 2/1 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.