Excellent customer service is a concept that gets a lot of hype but few deliver on. It’s been my experience that smaller companies normally give the best customer service. Once these businesses grow customer relations start to suffer. Unfortunately I’ve seen this scenario play out more than once. But it is still nice to run into the companies that are trying to keep customer satisfaction high. To me this shows pride in the product or service that is being sold.
Some companies have started to realize the potential of the Internet and social media services to engage and improve the customer experience. Unfortunately many of the larger corporations are still using these tools for marketing only. For some reason they can’t grasp the positive effects of having an open dialog with the people who use or consume their products.
Recently I came across a defective can of ZEVIA Ginger Root Beer. I chose to write about this for several reasons. I’m big on sharing my experiences with various products. I’ve written several previous articles on Zevia Soda. I was also curious as to what might have caused the problem since I’d never come across it before. My intention wasn’t to get anything in return for the odd can. Of course I did want to make the company aware of the issue. This was also a good way to test how they would deal with a customer problem.
After writing my original article I notified Zevia about it using a public tweet on Twitter. This service has seen a number of businesses flooding customers with marketing and offers. A select few have been smart enough to realize the potential of Twitter to have a conversation with customers. This interaction has led to some companies using Twitter for customer service and resolution of problems.
I received a same day comment from a Zevia employee. Then one more stopped by soon after. There was no back and forth on the topic. Both comments were – lets make this right we will send you a free case of ZEVIA Ginger Root Beer. This was honestly beyond the response I was expecting. But I can tell you this is a key example of keeping a regular customer happy and purchasing more of what you produce. It’s also a good example of how to engage your customers. Unfortunately most companies would rather fight with or make their customers jump through hoops to resolve a problem.
Of course I can’t promise that others would get this type of response from Zevia. I’d hope that they would treat others the same as they have treated me. I understand that it isn’t easy to deal with a flood of customer emails, tweets or phone calls. The companies that take the time to do this right are almost always rewarded with good customer feedback, word of mouth and positive online offline articles and reviews.
Above you see what the case of ZEVIA Ginger Root Beer looked like inside the shipping box. Below you will see how it was packed and other views of the product case. Zevia seems to be taking packaging waste seriously. The protective cushion was all paper which could easily be recycled. Several other companies I do business with have started to do this. Zevia cans are packaged using the old style six pack which years ago some environmental groups spoke out against. They do reduce packaging but you might want to consider taking a pair of scissors to them before you throw them out.
Unfortunately Zevia feels the need to support Twitter garbage such as Follow Friday. Which is why I refuse to follow them on Twitter. Companies for some reason can’t understand the negative side of what I consider to be Twitter spam. There is absolutely NO VALUE in blasting a bunch of @ names to your Twitter followers. Why waste my time making me wonder why I should go explore those names? If they have true value then retweet their content – that would offer me real value. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it the right way to do things. Twitter should have put a stop to this type of trash ages ago – it devalues the service & isn’t an effective form of communication.
I’ve unfollowed blocked some of the biggest names, brands online do to this garbage. Some of the brands I’m very loyal to and some of the well known people I either know or have been in the same room with. Even if you blast my name it gives me no value. Why would anyone waste their time to click my @ name you spammed if they don’t known what I have to offer them? These followers time is valuable = stop wasting it. For the record I feel exactly the same about tags. This has become an abusive disaster on Twitter & on websites in general.
Want to give your brand value online? Think outside the box, don’t follow the majority and offer top notch customer service.
Here is the article where this adventure began.
This is a great example of how NOT to engage your customers or visitors online or off.