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Customer Service. Seriously?

Customer service matters. How you treat others matters. This is true for individuals, and brands alike. While this is common sense, it is worth taking a pause to consider.

Here is an anecdote on a recent customer service experience our Managing Director had, and the takeaways from it. It's a new year, and the perfect time to reflect and steer ahead.

Customer Service. Seriously? Uber, Uber, Uber. Isn't your valuation something in the billions?

Let's walk through a few things.

Christine, our Managing Director, had a bad Uber ride. She wrote it in the notes and gave the driver a 1, the lowest rating.

Here is their response:

Alrighty then. The typos alone are frightening. But what's worse is this line: "Happy to make things right here."

Christine was thinking, "They will give me a free ride? Put the guy in jail and send me his selfie from there? I'm so glad I actually filled in the form."

Then, nothing. They didn't give her anything, after saying they would. Talk about an unfulfilled expectation.

Note to yourself. Customer service matters. It quells the anger inside or feeds the flames of rage toward a brand.

A little lesson in customer service. The Blue Shoe Mantra.

1. Always own a mistake.

And, make it right. Do not charge for whatever it was that didn't go right, even if in the end they got what they paid for anyway.

2. There is no 'but' in a customer service apology.

"We are so sorry your birthday gift to your grandmother, who died the day after her birthday, one day before the gift that we promised would be there on time, arrived, BUT, the dog ate the first box and we weren't sure which was eaten until we took two days to sort through all the invoices." Never. No exceptions. No BUT.

3. Data suggests that people, when angry, mostly just want to be heard. Listen. Don't answer.

Murmur. "Oh my, that's awful." Christine, the mouthy Managing Director who received this response from Uber, was pulled over by a police officer. She says it was the first time in her life, but we know she is lying. When he came to the window, she said, "I am really sorry and frankly I know that my reckless abandon is a waste of your time, which I consider to be more important than my own. I think you should lock me up for 24 hours and teach me a lesson, and I'm not kidding. I'm sorry." He looked at her, laughed and said, "Thanks for seeing what we do." And he sent her on her merry ticket-free way.

So, Uber, get your act together because the reach of this piece is much larger than you want it to be and you look foolish indeed.

The Blue Shoe Team

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