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Hello Vendors … My name is Mireille…And… I’m No Longer Your Customer

It has been suggested that you need to attract at least ten to fifteen customers for every customer you lose; with social media, the numbers increase significantly.    

Vendors Pay Attention … please 

Six weeks ago I updated one of my computers to Microsoft Windows 7 and I have been having problems with customer support ever since. 

If customer service is NUMBER ONE I wish they would tell Microsoft, Western Digital, Best Buy, and Hewlett Packard (HP) that their customer service personnel are inattentive, focusing on trying to sell me products I do not want or need.  We can also include an unprofessional tendency to lecture on why I should not be upset that my perfectly good hardware is old and should be replaced.  

We the Consumers are to blame
Political correctness has made us all afraid of voicing our opinions and stating our needs.  We now choose to say nothing and take what is.  As we stay silent our landfills fill up.  As part of the silent majority, I’m choosing to reclaim my voice. 

Anger is Good … if

Early in my career I learnt a very painful lesson on how to negotiate from a position of strength.  Brought in to negotiate a very difficult Union situation I allowed emotions to rule.  A very wise person, yanked me out of the room and told me to get rid of the anger, to go out and run, row, roller blade and if I was determine to take action then to do it strategically and with a focus on the ultimate outcome.  

In order to deal with volatile emotions, Daniel Goleman, in his book “Emotional Intelligence” suggests that the following

1. Identify the feelings behind the emotion.

2. Breathe, go out and exercise (okay, that one is mine).

3. Understand others and their feelings.

4. Create a strategy on having a conversation that includes listening, asking questions and boundaries.  

Social Media, the Great Equalizer

Social Media, unfortunately, has unleashed those ill equipped to use this environment responsibly.  Getting angry and lashing out doesn’t inform, education or offer a solution.   

If you need to take your complaint online, may I make the following suggestions?   

1. Give the company two chances to offer assistance.  Sometimes it takes two tries before you get someone who can help you.

2. If you blog about your experience do a keyword search to find the best keywords to use in your heading and in your content to get your story heard.  

3. Be specific.  For example saying that Western Digital Products Suck is not true.  I have only one of their products and that is an external network drive called My Book.   I have since found out that I can transfer all my files into the public sector of the hard drive but no one I called told me that.  They suggested that I buy a new hard drive, find a computer that could access my files all the while telling me I must pay for their service.  Not helpful.  

4. If you use Twitter, include the companies Twitter handle and make sure your 140 characters count, ask questions.  For example:   @WesternDigital ‘My Book’ not compatible with Windows 7, any suggestions? 

5. I’m not a Facebook fan, but a friend of mine suggested that if I wanted to get the companies attention to find the companies Facebook page and post my complaint online.  As with all complaints, write it in a way that opens the door to possible solutions by stating the product, serial number, purchase date, the problem, and steps you took to resolve the problem including the phone calls to customer service. 

In the end, money will be spent

I think we all agree that companies are in the business to make a profit.  I think we can also agree that profit comes with a quality product and great customer service; unfortunately both are in decline. 

As for me, I bought a new printer and an external network drive neither of which were Hewlett Packard or Western Digital; looks like these companies will have to spend more money to attract new customers to replace the one they lost… ME! 

I’m Curious

How have you used Social Media to attract a company’s attention regarding a problem with their product?

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