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About 7 years ago I had my first customer experience with Amazon. I had ordered a college textbook. It shipped 2 weeks later, which they told me (via email) was normal. I was behind on classwork and furious with them.
Two years ago I had another issue with an Amazon order. I used the click-to-call button on their website and in seconds my phone was ringing with a HUMAN customer service rep on the line. I was very impressed.
This morning, I got the following email from Andrew P, a longtime close friend:
Afterwards, I asked him to check the status of my order I placed last night for a textbook (not sure if I told you I started an MPA program at FDU).
When I finished the call he says, "And good luck in school."
I thought that was a great personal touch.
Amazon didn't win this advocacy via paid media. They didn't even utilize cutting edge technology. They put a smart and capable customer service rep on the phone.
With all this talk about technology, good marketing is about the right mix of great people with solid delivery (often powered by tech). Kudos Amazon, for getting it right.
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Compare this to Verizon. Two years ago I and my fiance (now wife) both had Verizon phones under contract. Our phones were dropping calls regularly. As it was cheaper to switch to Cingular/ATT, we asked Verizon if they could offer any breaks. The Verizon rep told us while we could switch carriers, we were violating a contract (how offensive!). Cingular on the other hand, threw in an extra $100 to cover the cost of switching carriers.
Verizon couldn't get their sales support in line with their product offering. Not much has changed.
From the looks of the video below, Verizon still has some serious customer service issues. While they are spending millions on media, they still cannot get a handle on the basics - human service.
Verizon, if you're listening please feel free to shoot me an email. We should talk.
Hilarious Verizon Support Video Below