In Monday’s Wall Street Journal there was an article titled “Companies Strive Harder to Please Customers”. This was music to my eyes and I read it immediately.
In the article they discussed how companies have come to the realization that current economic conditions call for better customer satisfaction. I can’t believe it took this long to figure that out. The companies they highlighted included Sprint Nextel, Cheesecake Factory, US Airways, and Southwest Airlines. This was a nice mix. I consider two of them having a good reputation for customer experience and two who don’t.
All four of them know that customers have choices and beefing up the satisfaction can be the difference. For Nextel it was rewarding customer service people for solving a customers issue on the first call. Cheesecake Factory is enhancing the service they provide while waiting for a table. US Air is fixing its missing baggage issue. This is a great idea since they charge you for baggage. Southwest now offers free call-back from their call center if wait times are too long.
All of this made me happy until yesterday when I realized not everyone is on the good customer experience bandwagon.
I received a text message from Verizon Wireless letting me know that at least one of my family phones had data usage charges. Verizon Wireless has a phone store called Get It Now. They also place apps on your phone that are demos. What they are not clear about is they charge you for checking them out. My kids phones don’t have a data plan. They don’t need one. They are offering customers to check out their products and then charge them to enter the store. They place demo apps on the main screen of the phone and tell customers to try it “free”. Without a data plan you are charged for the data usage to try it “free”. Don’t they make money from customers buying apps, games, and ringtones? Why would they charge you for looking? The customer service person agreed with me. However, he said that the “fine print” explains they will charge you. When is the last time a teenager or most adults ever read the “fine print”? The customer experience is not about the “fine print”.
Being upfront with your customers is always the best customer experience.