On a recent trip to Chicago, I had two totally different customer experiences. I thought I would share both of them to point out how they are perceived by the consumer.
On my first day in Chicago, I requested an Uber. After receiving the final fee confirmation, I noticed the amount was different from the amount that Uber showed before booking the car. Apparently, there was a surcharge from the hotel that I was staying with. In order to communicate with Uber I needed to send an e-mail (no phone number to contact). The responses I received showed that they did not understand what I was indicating to them. After three rounds of back and forth, I just gave up. Two days later my app on my phone stopped working. Again, I was e-mailed a solution. The solution did not work. Further e-mails went unanswered even though I told them I needed to use their service now. Finally, after 5 days, I received an e-mail asking if the problem had been resolved. After replying that I was still unable to use the application, I received no response. I have yet to hear back from Uber and currently cannot use their service.
On the other hand, here is an example of great customer service I observed during my trip: while waiting for my Southwest airline plane on my way home from Chicago, I saw two passengers run by me screaming about where they could find an AED. Apparently, a woman had fainted and passed out while waiting to board the plane. Luckily the woman awoke in the next few minutes and did not need the AED machine although she was taken by ambulance to the hospital for tests. After boarding the plane, I happened to be sitting near the two passengers when a Southwest service agent approached them to thank them for the help, and let them know that when they land to see customer service for a gift.
What did these two experiences show me? First, that Uber did not care enough about me to get the problem resolved. What did I do in response? -- Download their competitor, Lyft, to my smartphone. Second, that for the two passengers and the passengers sitting near them, the service agent who went out of her way to thank them showed us that Southwest cares. Even in a price-driven service, it feels good to give business to an establishment that shows they care.
What kind of organization are you, and how do you show your clients that you care?