One of the things that really gets my proverbial goat – in addition to terrible grammar (knowing your sh*t versus knowing you’re sh*t) and poor UI design (having studied it at uni for a while) – is poor customer service.
With that in mind, it pleases me to learn that Tesco has set up a twitter account, @tescomobile, where all the usual rigid customer service rules are thrown out the window.
I’ve been meaning to go on a rant about customer service for a while now, but couldn’t quite find the right angle. Thanks, Tesco.
Things that irk me are overly wordy or formal replies in emails, including ones I’ve received from Sony and Nintendo. Look, we’re talking about computer games here; I think it’s ok to tone it down a bit.
Similarly, these Live Chat things completely do my head in. Instead of providing a simpler, more immediate, less formal means of communication, they’re quite often hollow experiences where the replies might as well be friggin’ automated.
Question: Hey Govina, my name’s Lewis. I was wondering… does the such-and-such package include tethering?
Response: Hello Lewis. Thank you for your interest in **** Mobile. I will be happy to answer your question about tethering below.
What? WHAT? What does that even mean? It’s completely unnatural and ultimately redundant. Don’t tell me you’re going to answer my question, JUST ANSWER IT.
In that particular case (I was penning a deal last week and wanted to double check something), the answer given was – as I later learned – incorrect. So they consumed my will to live, and misinformed me. Fantastic.
As a rule, it’s a good idea to “mirror the customer”. Some people like formal, some don’t. There’s no hard and fast rule for everyone, and customer service high-ups would do friggin’ well to remember that.
Anyway! On a lighter note, let’s get back to this @tescomobile twitter account. It’s brilliant.
The big story to come out of it was the Liyah Summers thing. I’ll recount it briefly in case you’ve been sleeping for the past couple of weeks.
Liyah tweeted: “When you call someone and it goes through to their Tesco Mobile Voicemail… LOOOOOOOOOOOOOL”, the implication being that Tesco Mobile is a bit of a joke.
Tesco Mobile responded: “When you realise your mates are ignoring you LOOOOOOOOL #nojoke”. The quip has – deservedly – received thousands of retweets.
That reply was particularly cutting, and Liyah in fact received a free Samsung Galaxy S4 for her humiliation. Putting my cynical hat on for a moment, the whole thing might’ve been an incredibly clever marketing ploy (a little research shows Liyah is in fact a budding singer), or maybe it was just good fortune on everyone’s part; everybody wins.
All in all, Tesco Mobile has caused a bit of a twitter storm, with people genuinely asking questions and considering moving to Tesco Mobile, while others are just tweeting them for a laugh.
It seems that anything goes, too. One cheeky chap offered, er, sexual favours in exchange for a handset, to which Tesco Mobile replied: “how about you just pay for the phone?”
The #nojoke strategy (which also includes adverts with the likes of Ronnie Corbett, who I once spoke to on the phone) has been carefully put together by Jam; it’s not like they’ve let a bunch of twitter-mad kids loose on the keyboards.
And heck, if it all sounds like hell on earth to you, you can always hit up the “dedicated UK based Customer Service team” at @tescomobilecare.
Interestingly, @tescomobile has amassed 15,000+ followers, compared to @tescomobilecare’s comparatively modest 2,700. Clearly Jam is onto a winner.