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Sucky Service Snowball | Rolling Downhill

6 Ways to Keep The Sucky Service Snowball from Rolling Downhill

It begins innocently enough.

The reservation got messed up. Your agent put down 10 p.m. instead of 10 a.m. It is a minor slip of the keyboard, a single letter. But you are in the airport car rental business. 12 hours is a gulf the size of the ocean.

Fortunately, your confirmation system sends the client an email immediately after the call. In another stroke of luck, the client actually reads the email upon receiving it, notices the error and calls immediately to fix it.

The client is not thrilled. He explains that his flight arrives in the morning, and he has to pick up his most important client soon after. He is reasonable, but also has your agent confirm the reservation time twice before hanging up the phone. “I really need this to be right he said.”

A month goes by and your client receives his 48 hour reminder email. “Dear Mr. Smith, this is just a reminder that your Elite-Club Luxury Sedan will be ready for you at 10 p.m. on January 10. For speediest check-in…” Mr. Smith blows a gasket.

After 10 minutes on hold with your call center, Mr. Smith is even more livid. He explains that this is one of the most important meetings of his career. Your agent assures him that the reservation is correct on the reservation system, and it was just a glitch of the reminder system. The client is not convinced, and Mr. Smith forces the agent to go through every detail.

Sucky Service Snowball | Rental Car LotThe call takes almost 20 minutes before Mr. Smith is comfortable that the reservation is correct.

When Mr. Smith arrives at the airport check-in, the line is stuffed over 9 people deep per agent. One of your agents is late, the other called out, and the playoffs are in town, so you are slammed. It happens, but all Mr. Smith knows is that you seem understaffed.

Finally, Mr. Smith arrives at the counter. The good news: you have Mr. Smith’s reservation for the correct time. The bad news: you are out of the luxury sedans that Mr. Smith went to great pains to make sure you had in the last phone call.

All you have is a bottom-of-the-line subcompact that should have been retired years ago. Mr. Smith is about to pick up a multi-million dollar account in his teenage son’s car.

Mr. Smith goes ballistic. The agent at the desk doesn’t understand why.

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Are You Making Brand Deposits | Starbucks Cup of Coffee

Are You Making Brand Deposits?

The post below is partially excerpted from our upcoming eBook 7 Secret Customer Service Techniques Every Expert Knows! Learn more about our new eBook at the bottom of this post.

One of my favorite concepts is the idea of brand deposits, more commonly referred to as brand equity. Brand deposits is a phrase from Steve Jobs. Here is an explanation from the book Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success.

Are You Making Brand Deposits | Starbucks Cup of Coffee“He [Jobs] believed that a company’s brand works like a bank account. When the company does good things, such as launch a hit product or a great campaign, it makes deposits in the brand bank. When a company experiences setbacks, like an embarrassing mouse or an overpriced computer, it’s making a withdrawal. When there’s a healthy balance in the brand bank, customers are more willing to ride out the tough times. With a low balance, they might be more tempted to cut and run.” Cult of Mac

I was thinking about brand deposits the other day after having a poor experience at Starbucks. Now, I generally don’t call out specific companies on this blog, but in this case, my overall point is positive.

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