Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Getting Customer Support You Deserve

What do you expect as good customer service?  It’s no secret that everyone has more than one customer support horror story.  We’re all sick of pressing or saying something numerous times before we can talk to a live person. Our expectations for customer service has dwindled to the point some people give up and dump a faulty product instead of asking for help.

I’ve been lucky that my online presence has sometimes provided me with some special help. You really don’t have to be someone or have a Blog to carry some clout. Many times you can just post a message or leave a comment in the right place.

Case 1: Getting the Help You Deserve

Earlier this year my daughter was having a frustrating time trying get a new battery from Dell. In the process she ended up with two wrong batteries and still couldn’t use her computer. I wrote about her plight and within 24 hours I was contacted by a Dell Customer Advocate offering to help. My story made it to another blogger with “The Consumerist” and it wasn’t long before a correct battery was shipped and wrong batteries returned. It wasn’t really a complicated issue but the phone reps with their “help scripts” were incapable of helping.

Case 2: Getting  Extra Special Treatment

Long before blogs existed I created a web site called to manage online photos. Some of the most popular photos were from various trips and vacations. I had created a nice collection of Aruba photos on a site we called Aruba.calm. When on vacation at the Renaissance Aruba Beach Resort I made our hotel manager aware of my photos and reviews. I never asked for special treatment but before I knew it, the manager told us we would be charged the Marriott employee rate and even gave us tickets to a show.

What Should Your Business Do?

Companies are slowly learning that they have to watch the internet for signs of customer satisfaction.  Many have support groups on MySpace and Facebook. On Twitter a number of companies have representatives available to catch vocal customers and make them happy.

I currently follow the company reps below
@Comcastcares, @SouthwestAir, @zappos, @hrblock,  @Dunkindonuts,
@rubbermaid,  @JetBlue, @Residio, @1800flowers, @wholefoods,
@cz -FIOS, @jeffwc – Time Warner, @lindsaylebresco – Graco,
@ScottMonty – Ford, toniahammer and molsonferg from Molson.
Dell has a number of employees online and even a devote page for Twitter users.  As long as companies use social networks to help and not as PR vehicles they’ll get my business.

Here are some real responses on Twitter

JetBlue Change fees are waived for customers traveling today to/from BOS,Upstate NY and NY metro. Additional details at 

To support WinPatrol customers, I make a point to use to see if anyone is mentioning WinPatrol.  I will follow anyone who uses WinPatrol in case I’m needed.  I also have Google Alerts configured so any mention of WinPatrol in newsgroups or blogs will be Emailed to me. I recommend other companies do the same.

Earlier this month I created a WinPatrol specific Twitter account for news and support.  Go to and click follow.


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Blogger Corrine said...

Ethics + excellent customer service. Who could ask for anything more?

8:37 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

What customer service? Customers are disposable. High tier management is galvanized by front office interceptors. Compliments go up the tier. Complaints go in the shredder. The board is happy, stock goes up. Crappy support marches on.

6:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd like to put in a good word for's free computer email newsletter. Formerly LangaList, they merged and, as with LangaList, they have a pro version for around $15. They take questions AND suggestions from readers, while the pro version pays for itself with tons of freeware recommendations. Individual issues might not always be addressed, but you WILL see stuff that affects you personally, eg, Vista issues, XP SP3 problems, etc. I've been a subscriber longer than I can remember.

1:06 PM  

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