A little under a week ago, a major fruit themed technology firm released the latest installment of their smartphone operating system. The system, which acts as the main software that the phone runs off and governs everything from the way applications open to the way the keyboard displays, is updated every year and usually sports a host of new features and updates which are mainly tailored around their new handset; in this case the iPhone 6. In keeping with the fast-paced technology industry, the software update involves several changes to the fundamental workings of the phone.
But people don’t like change.
Within hours the internet was awash with complaints from agitated users. “Biggest fail of 2015” declared one user with another yelling “iOS8 is by far the worst update I’ve ever installed! #rubbish”. “That’s it, I’m buying an Android” cried another. Naturally, the papers picked up the public outcry instantly with headlines documenting the users’ frustration with the new update pouring from all orifices. At one point the topic overtook the Scottish referendum as the most talked about story on social media.
But was it really that bad? Of course not. The update, designed for more recent handsets, needed a little more storage space than the previous version and updated the camera roll of previously taken photos to include a date field amongst the pictures. They keyboard now suggests words you might be trying to type and if you double tap the button at the bottom you get a little list of previous contacts neatly stacked into a space that once contained nothing. They’re all legitimate updates, they just take a bit of getting used to.
All of this goes a long way to underline a classic marketing concept which you’ve probably heard in some incarnation – If someone has a good experience they’ll tell one person; if their experience is negative in any way, they’ll tell ten. I think, however, that this concept is long outdated. Nowadays, if someone has a negative experience, they won’t tell ten people. They’ll put it on Facebook. They’ll plaster it over Twitter where their reach doesn’t stop at Graham at the newsagents – their reach is now global.
It doesn’t take long to log onto Twitter and search ‘disgusting customer service’ to see the torrent of angry tweets that companies now have to deal with. With this amount of pressure on companies to respond to their critics, it’s no wonder that the big players have twitter accounts devoted to searching these tweets and addressing every one they can in a bid to show that they take customer service seriously. Companies big and small are subject to scrutiny and potentially damning reports if customers don’t get their way.
Our own facilities management helpdesk represents the frontline of our company. The customer service that we provide has to be top notch, and the way in which we conduct our business has to be of the most effective and efficient it can be. That’s why management has empowered the helpdesk operators to make the right decisions – to help go above and beyond our clients’ expectations As a helpdesk operator, I don’t just ‘sit on the phone’ all day; instead I get out to sites and gain first-hand experience of the buildings and the clients I work with. Clients need to have that contact and to build up a relationship, to ensure they receive the best service possible.
We do this because the only real way to deal with people posting their negative experience on social media is, of course, not to give them a negative experience in the first place.
Jake Jones, helpdesk operator, Propertyserve UK