E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Social Business Is People to People Business – The #Movistar Story – Part Deux

Gran Canaria in the Winter

Over three years ago I wrote an article over here around the ‘Joy of Business Travelling’. I still feel pretty much the very same way about it as I did back then when I wrote it, but I guess I underestimated how draining it can well be if you embark yourself on a European Tour of sorts over the course of a few weeks, and before you realise it, a couple of months have gone by without you noticing much! And that’s exactly what I am starting to recover from nowadays, as I just finished my last round of business travelling for the year. And, of course, it’s time to resume my blogging mojo, once again, now that things have, finally, started to slow down a bit, as I get to wrap up another year. My goodness and what a year it’s been altogether!

If you remember, back in December last year, and over the course of the following 2,5 months, I put together a round of different blog posts about the appalling customer service I received from my local ISP provider (Movistar), that, pretty much, disabled my ability to work properly throughout all of that time by not providing me with an opportunity to be connected to the Internet (where most of my work happens nowadays), in a timely manner, at my new home. A year has nearly gone by and, boy, how has the story changed from that horrendous customer experience.

Giving good credit where it’s due is a healthy behaviour, if only, to act as a proof of concept that not all of us keep complaining about poor customer experiences ad nauseam via social tools no matter what, so, as an opportunity to resume my blogging activities, I thought for today’s blog article I would share a short story about the truly amazing customer service I received a couple of weeks back from the rather smart and talented folks at Movistar. Who would have thought, eh? 

Well, it’s not the first time that it happens. In fact, over three years ago I wrote this other piece that confirms that good customer service, even from Movistar themselves, is, after all, possible, that is, if you bleed the purposeful intent of delighting your clients to the extreme. And the folks behind @Movistar_es (on Twitter, that is) surely do!

You see? There are many many reasons as to why I keep hearting Twitter, as my preferred digital tool from the Social Web tools suite, but one of the most compelling is what great customer service experiences you can get from it vs. other traditional means such as email or the Help line. And just a couple of weeks ago I had myself a first hand experience of how delightful customer service can well be via Twitter itself. Who knew, right? When everyone tells you that social / digital tools don’t really work for customer service, here comes Twitter to prove everyone else wrong. Ha!

So, like I was saying, a couple of weeks ago, I had an issue that was bugging me for a little while already with my Movistar full package for Internet access, Satellite TV and both phone and land lines. Typically, you would expect that I’d pick up the phone, call the Help line and ask for help. Or perhaps send an email :-P. The thing is that I didn’t. I went on Twitter and sent a Direct Message out right away, and without much thinking, to the folks behind @Movistar_es asking for help and guidance on how to sort out my problem. What happened over the course of the following couple of days was an intense, in terms of frequency, exchange of wonderful DMs with Raúl, Noelia, Amor, Nazaret & Coral to help me get answers to the various different questions I kept having, over and over again, that I wanted to have an answer for. 

All the folks I just mentioned above were, simply, superb! Incredibly helpful, witty, polite and specially patient in trying to clear out all of the various different issues and concerns I was having as a client for one of their products / services. Never a foul word was exchanged. On the contrary, one of the most delightful exchanges I can remember when embarking on that horrifying experience of customer service that sometimes we bump into without really wanting it. In this case, everything but that. It almost felt as if they were in the same room as I was trying to help me understand how to address and fix the problems I had with their product. Did I mention how patient they were with me while I struggled to comprehend the situation I was going through initially and that they managed to clear out accordingly AND on a timely manner? Gosh, they surely were!

Bless them for that, because they managed to turn around, completely, the horrendous customer experience I had earlier on in the year to a delightful one this time around. And, like I said before, it was not the first time either. I’m not too sure what happened from that linked story over 3 years ago to the unfortunate happening earlier on this year, but I can certainly tell you one thing I have learned throughout those different exchanges and over the course of time: the moment you treat your customers as people, as human beings, with respect, trust, and open, frank dialogue of genuinely wanting to help, the moment you are starting to embark on that fascinating journey of, like I said multiple times, becoming a Socially Integrated Enterprise. And you know what? This time around it was Twitter, once again, the one that came to the rescue confirming how powerful listening to your clients’ needs & wants via digital tools can well be. 

You know, they say that customer centricity is really hard. Then there are those other folks who keep claiming that customer centricity is just plain obsolete and that we should move on away from it (Oh, by the way, read this absolutely brilliant refutal from my good friend Javier Recency on this very same topic to re-think why that would be a bad move). But then again you bump into other pretty interesting and insightful reads that confirm how critical that transition into customer centricity would be for most organisations to survive into the 21st century, and when you rely on that transformation process in your own energetic, enthusiastic and creative employees there is only one other major perk coming along that, if anything, will help us all re-humanise not only our very own businesses, but also ourselves and how we work: employee engagement. Why?, you may be wondering … Well, you know how it goes… happy employees produce happy customers. 

That simple. And, right now, I can tell you all I am a very happy customer (once again) 😀

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