Digitwirl’s beautifully done video showcasing our app. Thanks Digitwirl!
We’re featured on ABC 7!
“Tired of being placed on hold or punching button after button waiting for a customer service representative to pick up the phone? There’s an app that could make your life a whole lot easier.”
New, New and More New!
We’ve been busy! With brand new services for Enterprise call center customers rolling out, we thought a new look would fit quite nicely.
New Companies added recently include:
- Entergy Mississippi
- Four Seasons Hotels
- Lands end
- Reed Electric
- Express Scripts
- Intermountain Healthcare &
- The Body Shop
- BB&T: Mortgage Loan Client Services
- Boy Scouts of America
- Mountain America Credit Union
- Cooks Illustrated Magazine
- California Employment Development Dept.
- Blue cross Blue shield NM
Building Lifelong Relationships via Customer Service
Once a customer has become frustrated with your company (and it happens to every company), ideally, at her request, you could teleport straight to her with a cup of tea and help resolve the issue.
Alas, until the magic day of flying atoms arrives, we have to rely on her proactively reaching out to fix the issue.
Companies like Amazon or Zappos have help sections on their websites that aim to solve your problems in the fewest amount of clicks. For companies that run “tight ships,” help sections like this prove invaluable, as more often than not customers can solve issues for themselves.
However, these FAQ and service centers are most useful to customers who need a simple question answered — with no emotion involved.
But the truth of the matter is, without positioning those most common questions alongside the 800-number — in that moment when someone is ONLY looking for an 800 number — you’re missing an in-context opportunity to intercept that person from her emotional state and remove it without even needing the phone call.
Because, after all…
Emotion Drives Us
Sometimes, customers want to vent. Other times, they just want someone to talk to. But in the best-case scenario, the emotion one feels when she calls customer service is gratitude for speaking with an agent who solves her problem and, in turn, makes her day a little easier.
Really, the exchanging of hard-earned money for goods or services isn’t to be taken lightly … especially in a tough economy. Customers trust that a company will value their money because companies say as much when they’re pitching their goods and services. So if a snag occurs — which can and will happen — the customer just wants reassurance that the bond is not completely broken.
Running From That Emotion
Customers who are having an emotional reaction typically visit a company’s website and, when no obvious contact information or answer can be obtained quickly, only grow more frustrated.
And it’s not a surprise that companies have been criticized for hiding their contact numbers, forcing customers to send email and wait, or requiring a lengthy forum-search before being able to submit technical inquiries. An emotional customer who doesn’t feel valued is not going to feel better if a company forces her to “help herself” before being willing to step in. She’s just going to take her business elsewhere and tell her network to boycott that company.
Owning That Emotion
Zappos, a pioneer of “do what it takes” customer service, has a different approach.
“Zappos puts its phone number right on the homepage and answers its phones 24/7. The result? Zappos racks up roughly 5,000 one-on-one customer experiences each day.” says Adam Cahill of Hill Holiday.
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos viewpoint is that “We’re not trying to maximize every transaction. We’re looking to build lifelong relationships with our customers.”
What Zappo’s and many others are doing by putting their phone numbers in a visible spot is cultivating relationships and vocal fans. The mythical increase in call volume that comes from owning your customer service promise is a far lesser risk than angering an influential customer in the day of social media — where millions of followers can start a boycott from one customer’s poor experience.
But even for those who have spikes in call volume, technologies like ours exist out there to enable that awesome relationship building while still deferring call volume. So companies should feel more empowered than ever to create meaningful interactions with their customers.
Your phone number is a channel for forging an emotionally fulfilling bond with your customers. Why shy away from that?
So Many NEW Companies Added!
Have a company you call frequently and we don’t already have in our app? Send an email to us and we’ll make sure it gets done!
Here’s a list of some of the companies we recently added for your calling pleasure:
- Wells Fargo Credit Card
- M&I bank
- Connecticut Light & Powe
- The Bay
- Massachusetts Department of Revenue
- State of Connecticut Department of Labor
- The Oregonian
- Nikon Imaging
- Urban Active Fitness
- Telus Nova Scotia
- HMSA Insurance
- Equity Accelerator
- Prime Time Shuttle
- Sleep Rx
Why Customer Service Makes the Headlines
Given the sheer volume of their customer service inquiries, the enterprise companies with whom we work often already have significant checks-and-balances in place to prevent terrible customer service from occurring.
Non-enterprise-level companies also recognize the value of exceptional “customer service with a smile,” so they implement smaller-scale quality control as one way to differentiate themselves from the competition and, in turn, be more successful.
But with the advent of all the communication channels at our disposal — including email, text, chat, apps, Twitter, Facebook, plus the good ole phone and fax (yes, fax) — it’s now easier than ever to tell everyone in your network when you receive terrible customer service.
And regardless of your business size, this speed-to-network can be either a wonderful or an awful thing.
This week, Ocean Marketing experienced the latter — and the tale was so unbelievable that Penny Arcade and VentureBeat both ran stories on it.
Here’s the story in short:
- A customer sends an email asking about a game controller he ordered asking about intended ship date.
- After a few back and forth messages, Ocean Marketing (in charge of customer service and marketing for this controller) sends some nasty responses like this one: “See you at CES , E3 , Pax East ….? Oh wait you have to ask mom and pa dukes your not an industry professional and you have no money on snap you just got told.”
- The customer forwards the transcript of his emails to important people in the game industry, including Mike Krahulik of famed Penny Arcade.
- Ocean Marketing then manages to offend Mike (who later entered the conversation) with responses like this one: “Your sites amateur at best my son could put together a better site than yours and you run PAX ?? Wow , Ill put my marketing team on a smear campaign of you and your site and your emails , I have about 125 dedicated people to run PR , Blogs , Articles , Videos you have no clue who I am .”
- Mike, of Penny Arcade posts the story including the transcript on his influential game-industry blog. Reddit, and other gaming community sites all publish the story continuing the PR nightmare.
- This story does not have a happy ending for Ocean Marketing, and are no longer representing the new game controller.
We typically work with executives at companies who are truly trying to make a positive difference in their customers’ lives while, at the same time, catapult their companies to insanely successful levels.
With technology today connecting millions of people together with the press of a button and a hungry 24/7 news media, it’s clear that having the right customer service mechanisms for quality and responsiveness are more crucial than ever before.
FastCustomer App makes TIME’s Top 10 Apps Of 2011
And you — as the new kid on the block — then see your nametag: FastCustomer.
Being selected as one of TIME Magazine’s Top 10 Smart-Phone Apps of 2011 made us feel OMG-fall-over-with-joy happy. (In fact, this is an understatement.)
We couldn’t have reached this accolade — in less than a year since launching — without the passionate support of users, media, friends, family, investors, advisors, and everyone who is rooting for us to make customer service better. Thank you!
Here’s to an even bigger 2012!
FastCustomer Takes Home 6 Awards at Disruptathon ‘11
We were thrilled to be invited to present at this year’s MoDevEast in December. The conference, led by the venerable Pete Erickson, brought together developers and marketers to hone their skills in everything from mobile sites and apps to tablet development and APIs.
Part of the conference included a head-to-head, audience-voted contest called the Disruptathon. Its purpose was to see which app, platform, or mobile website would take home the proverbial cake prize.
“Ten companies squared off with two minute pitches while the audience provided real-time ratings and feedback using the Disruptathon mobile app.”
Our co-founder Steph presented FastCustomer — the last presentation of the day, in fact. And we were floored to then go on to win 6 of 7 possible categories, including:
- 1st Overall
- 1st in Best Design
- 1st in Best Business Model
- 1st in Most Unique
- 1st in Most Disruptive
- 1st in Most Liked
This was a thrilling honor to cap a really fantastic conference. Thanks to everyone at MoDevEast for voting for us, and to Pete for hosting this stellar event!
Hoo-boy, Check Out All the New Companies Added!
Keep the requests comin, people!
- British Columbia Auto Association
- Homeland Housewares
- West Hill Auto
- Hartford Courant
- Delta Gold
- OKC and Tulsa
- Capital blue Cross: PA
- Independence Blue Cross: PA
- BCBS: SC
- Wellmark Blue Cross: SD
- BCBS: VT
- Premera Blue Cross: WA
- Regence: WA
- Highmark BCBS: WV
- Viridian Energy
- National Pesticide Information Center
- Cole Haan
- Western Nevada Supply
- National Perinatal Information Center
- Westshore Auto Care
- Home Shopping Network
- Briggs & Stratton
- Assurance Wireless
- Liberty Travel
- AT&T Texas
More Companies Per Your Request, People!
- The Chamberlain Group
- Graco: U.S. and Canada
- Active Stores
- Dakine: U.S. and Canada
- PRS Guitars
- Murphys Marketplace
- Pathmark Stores
- A&P Stores
- Shop Rite
- Christian Broadcasting Network
- Big Boy
- Randolph-Brook FCU
- Choice Hotels
- Ontario Student Assistance Program
- Optonline NJ
- DSL Extreme: Support, Billing and Sales
- Washington D.C. DMV
- LG Home Appliances
- Long Island Power Authority
- Austin Energy