I have a bone to pick with some brands & companies. I am one whom does not like to speak on the phone. I do it all day at work. The last thing I want to do when I have a need or an issue with a brand or company is get on a phone. I like to utilize where available email, chat, direct messages on social media or contact us on the website. However, there have been many times that it has fallen into the black hole of cyberspace. Either there is no response at all, or I have been advised to call in. This is my point. I do not want to call and speak with someone. I want to be heard loud and clear and not spoken over. I want to be heard with competence from someone who is within the country in which the company is based and not a foreign call center where the person on the other end just reads script from the screen. I want to be heard with comprehension and through typed conversations there is proof of said conversation and it is typed out. Most call centers are so redundant with automated responses that you must scream into the phone to be heard only to have the computer route you to wrong responses. Then you must start over again. This all infuriates me and anyone else whomever has had to deal with this issue. This causes the person who eventually ends up receiving the call to be lashed out at undeservedly so because the complainant is beyond stressed. I know because I get lashed out lots of times at work because I am not the area that they need.
There are some companies that just use social media for advertising and do not really interact with their customers and followers. However, some companies totally engage with their followers. I can report problems with my cellular service directly to Sprint on Twitter using DM (direct messaging). I am able to interact with Chewy and in fact have enticed more customers during the COVID-19 pandemic because of their great customer service, quality communication of constant updates due to the pandemic, and Batman and I have received an unexpected small, hand painted portrait. I use the hashtag #unpaidspokescat when I post to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram because Batman is in no way endorsed financially by any product or company. Some people use YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to be recruited and paid to post for products for financial gain and make a living out of it. Amazon is another great example of getting things done via chat thru the website or app. I have taken care of several issues that way. It doesn’t raise my blood pressure or cause me undo stress because I am introvert.
I have issues with Aldi in the past and now boycott because of their poor customer service. I was charged for seven cans of beans and only in reality purchased one. They move you through like cattle so fast that I am sure this occurs a lot. In fact, they show on their commercials how wonderful and caring the checkout personnel are that they have time ask questions or make comments to the customer. I laugh out loud because they do not in reality. They toss your stuff into the cart and you barely have time to pay and grab your cart before the next customer’s items are scanned. I am sure this social distancing is holding up the process because people need to be six feet apart. I had that overcharge issue and another issue where I was cursed at and basically accosted by a cart because I did not have a cart for few items and needed to pack my items. The gentleman, term used loosely, started tossing the next person’s items in the cart as I was retrieving mine. He said, “Fucking hurry up”. I replied, “Good God. I cannot even pack my items before you rush thru the next person. This is the last time I shop here.” I brought both instances up using Aldi’s website. I did receive responses. However, my concerns were ignored. I typed in all capitals at the bottom. “DO NOT CALL CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL ONLY”. Their response was the same each time. “We thoroughly investigate these matters and our customer service team from that location will contact you.” Never any calls nor emails from the actual store. I have not set foot in Aldi since. I even took to social media using #boycottAldi hashtag and tweeting to their corporate Twitter account. Cue the crickets chirping because there was no response from Aldi. However, I did receive replies from Batman’s followers about similar experiences or asking if I had a similar store in my area because they had excellent customer service.
Another case is Popeye’s and I had a complaint about one location and a compliment for a different location. Both instances occurred on the same day. I walked into one location and stood at the counter for ten minutes. The drive thru employee was busy completing drive thru orders. The counter person was busy filling Uber Eats or one of those other type company’s orders. There was no one taking orders at the counter. I left and went to another location and that location was busy as well. However, there were many employees filling orders at the counter, drive thru and for the app deliveries. The manager was more than friendly and apologized to each and everyone for their having to wait. Popeye’s never responded to online inquiry nor Twitter.
Final example that I will share. There are more; however, but I am only highlighting the most rampid ones in my eyes. An independent contractor for Tampa Bay Times got into a confrontation with my neighbor and balled up his fist to hit him. My neighbor had legitimate beef with this sad excuse of a man. He was blocking vehicles and illegal dumping newspapers into the condominium complex’s dumpster. This poor excuse of masculinity does not reside in the complex. He throws the papers with no regard to personal property nor condominium property. He has thrown the newspaper bouncing it off my screen door or kitchen window multiple times. I interjected due to the assault. I advised my neighbor that I had a run in with this guy before because he blocked me while doing the same illegal dumping into the dumpster. The guy started to threaten me about my weight. I laughed because I would have to care about this guy’s opinion of me. Any of my blog readers know that I am above that. My neighbor threatened to cancel his subscription to Tampa Bay Times. I encouraged it because the Tampa Bay Times is skewed liberally and has an agenda. The guy laughed and balled up his fist again. I advised this guy to leave. My neighbor followed thru and cancelled his subscription and complained about the independent contractor. I also launched a Twitter campaign about the fact that Tampa Bay Times does not investigate their hiring of contractors allowing this type of individual to represent their paper. It fell of crickets chirping. I tried to complain about it thru their website. However, I would have to be a subscriber to even lodge a complaint.
It is time do use the social media as platforms for customer service. Especially now with the new normal during this pandemic. People should be refraining from going into places to lodge complaints or even do appointments unless your physical appearance is required. The technology is there. Most government agencies have online renewals in place to help ease the waiting times. With the ever-growing population and the places of employment downsizing and asking the remaining employees to take on more tasks these lines will increase. During the pandemic when places are closed or only allowing a smaller percentage of people into their places, the wait times have dramatically increased to get an appointment to take care of renewal needs.
Companies can hire people to work from home to take direct messages, chat conversations via the website as well as answer emails thus taking the time to read and take care of an issue. There is not a large need for call centers except for those that really have the need to talk with someone over the phone. Most websites already have FAQs where some questions are already there to be read. Websites have a lot of information available. I use that for my getting the information that I need. I know that people who are working like me usually are tasked with multiple jobs to cut down on the personnel for budgeting reasons. Why would I waste their valuable time if I can find that answer out myself? Social media can be more than a place of advertising. Mob mentality has been working. How about getting this worked out for the silent mob, the introverts, and the social anxious people of the world.