Have you ever experienced customer service so unsettling that you had to write a letter about it? Well, my therapy was this week’s cartoon. I won’t go into details (it’s too painful to relive in full), but I think that "vonage" should be a new verb in Webster’s to denote a really bad customer service experience (as in, "Arggh, I’ve been vonaged") If Google can become a verb, why not Vonage?
Anyway, it made me think how epidemic bad customer service is. When you think about how much money and effort is spent on finding and reaching consumers, it seems crazy to throw it all away by not respecting them enough to provide good customer service. In the early days of smoothie brand innocent, they had a "banana phone" (literally, a phone shaped like a banana) in the middle of their office that would ring with consumer calls, and staff would literally fight over the privilege to answer the phone when it rang and talk to a consumer (anyone in the company could answer the phone). How refreshing would it be if every brand had a "banana phone" that was actually answered by someone who cared or truly worked with the brand?