Thanksgiving Wishes, And A Little Follow-Up

As I typically do, I want to give my digital Thanksgiving wishes for today's column, but first I must tell you a story...

Last week I reminded everyone that customer service is one of the most overlooked and under-appreciated elements of marketing for any brand. In my explanation of this oft-forgotten component I wrote an observation of Best Buy and the poor encounters I had with its small business program's customer service. Well, since this is the day before Thanksgiving and since Turkey Day is all about giving thanks for the gifts we have all received and extending the hand of compassion and positivity to your fellow man, I want to tell you about the follow-up I received from Best Buy.

My article ran last Wednesday, as it always does, and within three hours of its posting to the Web I had received a call from David Barnes of Best Buy's Small Business Program. I was impressed that he'd found me in such a short period of time -- and I was even more impressed with the discussion that followed. Mr. Barnes was calm, not defensive and very open to hearing about the customer service experience I'd had with the assistant manager of the Best Buy that I was shopping at. He heard me mention the initial positive interaction I had with one particular sales associate (named Aaron) and the resultant negative interactions I had. Rather than try to give an explanation for the service I'd received, he listened, tried to understand my point of view and told me of similar experiences he'd heard from other customers and the trends he'd identified, as well as the challenges he was facing in his position. He was passionate without being pushy and sensitive to my needs without being in the least bit condescending. It was easy to understand how he'd gotten to his position and why he was being tasked to fix the problem!



This simple phone call took approximately 25 minutes of his time and more than made up for the poor experience I had at the retail store, so much so that I'm willing to give Best Buy the benefit of the doubt and a second chance at my business! Of course, having a platform such as the Online Spin makes my voice heard far faster than the average customer. Which is why I was more than happy -- and without Best Buy's knowledge -- to post this follow-up to last week's article. So with that, I want to tell you what else I am digitally thankful for this Thanksgiving season:

· I am thankful for positive customer experiences and the ability to spread these experiences via word-of-mouth marketing. I guess that means I'm also thankful to the folks at MediaPost who keep giving me this platform with which to share my experiences and thoughts, and to the readers who keep listening to what I have to say.

· I am thankful for the iPhone and the ability to take my music everywhere with me, in my phone and on my person. I am especially thankful for the fact that the iPhone comes with a TWO-piece headset, making it easier to block out street noise while calling when away from the office. Why no one thought of that before boggles my mind.

· I am thankful for text messaging because it allows me to stay in contact with my fiancé and shoot happy little notes to her at any time of day, making her smile on the other end.

· And last but not least, I am thankful for the advent of social media, specifically Facebook, because it allows me to stay in contact with the people I know and to reconnect with the people who I've not heard from in many years, all while not having to deal with the headaches and eyesores of flashing backgrounds and music playing on someone's page, distracting me from what I came there to do.

And to that, I say thank you for reading again each week, and have a happy Thanksgiving with you and yours!

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