I appreciate the phone calls, and the letter, but…

November 17, 2013 § Leave a comment

So on November 4, I tweeted this:

The Chevron/Texaco consumer credit card page had been down at that point for a full day. I had tried to pay my bill the day before, and the site was unreachable. Tried throughout the day, actually, and found that all of the other chevron card sites were up and running, just the consumer one was down.

I tried again the next day at work, to no avail, hence the tweet.

Now, I appreciate corporations paying attention to social media, and to be fair, Chevron doesn’t run that web site. It’s actually part of GE Capital Credit, which does a lot of consumer credit cards for all sorts of companies. However, Chevron did follow through, and the next day, I received a phone call from them about, as the message put it, “your inquiry.” I didn’t bother to call back, because by that time, the web site was up and running again, and I had paid my bill.

So my first point in this post is: Tweets get results. Companies pay attention to social media.

I received another phone call two days later, with the same message. Just this weekend, I received a LETTER. In the MAIL of all things! The letter is from Tricia Zevallos, but it doesn’t say what Ms. Zevallos’ position in the company is. Here’s an excerpt:

Please allow us to apologize for any frustration you may have experienced as a result of the inability to access online services. Please note there are FAQ’s listed on the website at http://www.chevrontexacocards.com and an option to chat with a live representative to assist with any login or error message issues. Additionally, our Customer Service Agents are available to assist at 1-800-243-8766.

As I said before, kudos to Chevron for being on the ball and responding to an issue that came to them via social media, and passing it along to the people who handle their consumer accounts. Here’s where I run into a problem, though, and my second point for this post.

Understand your customer.

Remember where I complained? Over there on twitter? Wouldn’t it have been easier to just tweet back to me, “Hey @slaleman, sorry about the issues. Our IT team is working on it. Site should be up soon”. Or  “@slaleman sorry for the inconvenience. Site is up and running again so you can pay your bill.”

Instead, GE Capital Credit called me twice and left messages to call back,  then sent me a letter, all of which cost them money to do! The letter also directed me back to the web site that was inaccessible (completely, as in no error messages, no web site, no nothing) as part of their steps to solve my problem. So 1) they showed they didn’t understand my problem to begin with and 2) didn’t understand that the best way to reach me was where I reached out to them to begin with. In short, they didn’t understand their customer.

Again, I have to give them some credit for responding, but they’re a big corporation with (I”m sure) lots of smart executives getting paid a lot of money. They should know how the quickest, easiest, and least costly way to reach out to this customer was to tweet back.

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