November & December theme:
“Choose One Thing”
Posted in :  Brain Waves

I nearly fall off my chair when I have a bad customer service experience. It seems reprehensible that in the age of ZapposJetBlue, Apple and even old schoolers like L.L. Bean leading the customer service charge that being treated bad for no reason exists at all.

This week, I had to contact two companies for very different purposes but the customer service inquiries were similar. I needed help and I needed it fast. The experiences were night and day. The companies, EventBrite and Dimdim, don’t compete in the same space. One helps you manage and promote your events and the other offers online web conferencing, but when it comes to customer service, as far as I’m concerned, they are contenders in the same ring.

So, who was victorious? Here’s the spoiler: EventBrite. No contest. Here’s how it went down:

ROUND 1:

Contender #1: Dimdim displays their phone number on the Contact Us page which is linked from the bottom of the home page.

Contender #2: EventBrite displays their phone number on the header of their website. It’s on every page.

Okay, so EventBrite wins points for making me not click down into the Contact Us abyss but this is not a complete knock-out.

kangaroo_punching_woman-11959

WINNER: Draw.

ROUND 2:

Contender #1: On calling Dimdim, I am received by, “Hi Darlene.” WHAT?!

Contender #2: On calling EventBrite, I am received with, “Hello this is EventBrite Customer Service. How may I help you?”

WINNER: EventBrite

ROUND 3:

Contender #1: When I tell the Dimdim customer service rep that I am having trouble inviting my clients into a Web conference, he tells me that he’ll have someone else get back to me. He doesn’t say when. I ask if it will be within the hour because I need to use it that day. He says yes but that I need to send him an email about the problem. So, I have to do all the work here?

I send the email. And wait. Nothing happens within the hour. Let’s think about this: I can’t INVITE my clients into the web conference, i.e., I can’t use Dimdim. Shouldn’t this be handled on the phone, like right away?

Contender #2: I call EventBrite to see if there is a discount for non-profit events on the fees they charge for ticket sales. The first guy I talk to says yes. He gets into my account and asks me about the event. I tell him that it’s to help support Governor Jodi Rell’s “Operation Home for the Holidays” initiative to bring troops home in December before they get deployed overseas. He says “cool!” Then he tells me that they usually ask for confirmation of 501(c)3 status. I tell him that I don’t have that because it’s a one-off event, but maybe if I got a letter from the Governor? He laughs and says, “let me pass you to client relations.”

WINNER: EventBrite

ROUND 4:

Contender #1: At 10:47 a.m. I Tweet this in a fit of angst, “@Dimdim My patience is wearing thinthin. An unintuitive platform, tech issues and a customer service guy who is annoyed by my questions.” I get no response. At 11:49 a.m. I Tweet this in a double fit of angst,”@Dimdim We are through. Your customer service guy was rude and you haven’t responded like he promised. So long.”

At 3:18 p.m., I get this Tweet: “@suzicraig Our support manager is getting in touch with you now. That should not happen.” Okay, now we’re getting somewhere. The problem now is that it’s 4+ hours later and I’m swallowed up by other stuff and don’t have time to sort this out.

At 3:37 p.m., I receive this email:

Greetings Suzice

I am from Dimdim's support team and have received this email from Mohammed from our sales team.
Please let me know a convenient time tomorrow when I can give you a call and take this forward. 

Regards
[name of rep] 

TOMORROW?!!!

Contender #2: In talking with Aaron from EventBrite, my second point of contact within 5 minutes of my initial phone call, he tells me that he can approve the discount with his boss as long as I have some letter from the CT National Guard stating that the event is legit. He’s breaking the rules for me and for my little event – nice! Then he opens up my event page and walks me through some things to make sure I have it set up the way that I really want it. He gives me the fax number and says to address it to him directly and then says that he will email me so that I have all of his contact info. He tells me to get him the info as quickly as he can so that he can push this through with his supervisor.

WINNER: EventBrite


ROUND 5:

Contender #1: A day passes and Dimdim doesn’t follow up. I’m okay with that. I’ve forgiven them but have moved on. It’s not them, it’s me. I want something more and, if I stayed, I’d be asking them to change and I don’t think they’re ready for that.

Contender #2: Within 3 minutes of my conversation with Aaron, I receive this email:

Per our conversation, please contact me with any further questions on your Eventbrite account.
Aaron Price (415) 738-7726
Okay, not the most flavorful email but it gets the job done.

ANNNNNNNND . . . THE WINNER BY TKO IS . . . EVENTBRITE
To all companies who require customer service (and isn’t that all of us?): don’t just hire people to run a customer service department. Build customer service into who you are. I have options. I can review a myriad of web conference services that compete with Dimdim. And, now I will. Will I explore my options for managing my events online? No. I don’t have to. EventBrite had me at hello. At this point, they will have to do a lot of messing up to make me go elsewhere.

Comment with Facebook

Posted by: Suzi Craig
Email the author: suzi@fathom.net