Big Brands Fail to Understand Customer Experience

What a weekend. It was like every brand wanted to provide me with a poor experience. In all fairness, I was a bit less patient than normal while I was in the process of moving but still… I wasn’t the only one experiencing poor service with a variety of major brands that we expect more out of. Friday morning, I woke up and had to purchase donuts for a group of people helping my family move. I waited in line at Dunkin Donuts for 25 minutes and once I got to the window, the drive-thru worker had an attitude and didn’t greet me with a warm welcome or even try to be apologetic for their delays. Needless to say, the breakfast sandwich I ordered was old and disgusting, and I high level of disappointment was how I started my day.

Later that morning I needed to pick up a cashier’s check which means I have to experience the dreadful task of actually going inside a bank opposed to utilizing the ATM outside. I walked in about fifteen minutes after they opened to a line of fifteen people and only two tellers. Once again, no warm welcome and no apologies for the long line. And I’m still trying to figure out where all the people were that should have been working? Two tellers on a Friday? Not exactly what I would consider a positive experience.

Lastly, and far the greatest flop of the weekend was my experience with Verizon Communications. Let me start by saying that I’ve had Verizon for over three years and they’ve done a good job. Everyone told me they had horrible customer service but I wanted to give them a try. I needed to transfer my service to our new home. I set up everything online last week and had the date set for 12/21 (today). I called to see if there was any way they could move the date up so we didn’t have to go without internet/tv for 4 days. The customer service representative tried and said there were no available times earlier than my selected time. So I hung up and called it a day. 30 minutes later she called back and said she moved it to the 18th. I was shocked and couldn’t believe this customer service representative took the time to try her best to move my date. Three hours later I received a message saying it been moved again to the 20th. I called to verify and they said its still scheduled for the 18th. Once they didn’t show up on the 18th, I called and tried to figure out what happened. Verizon apparently made a mistake and labeled my installation wrong. The representative said they would call me back in a few minutes after they work it out. I get an email an hour later saying they’ve moved my date to the 23rd. I called back and threaten to cancel service and they said there’s nothing they could do. No incentives. No apologies. Just a “we screwed you and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

So what do these three poor customer experiences have in common? In each of these scenarios two key elements stick out to me. The representatives didn’t understand the value of the customer’s time and didn’t work to try in correct the situation. All three brands could have offered an incentive and/or at least an apology. As a customer, I won’t return to this particular Dunkin Donuts and I’m considering canceling my service with Verizon. If you fail to meet their needs, make it right.

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