Tag Archives: customer service

Really Road America? That’s How You Treat a Fan?

Like 99% of people that start one, this blog has gotten stagnant. It’s hard to come up with topics that I have something interesting to say about, and even harder to find time to post them. Hence, I haven’t posted one in 13 months. But I was so irritated by the experience I had this afternoon with one of my favorite places to visit that I had to dust it off and post this. Enjoy.

2011 Mustang GT race red
The back end of Lucy, my 2011 Mustang GT

No, this isn’t a post about my car. It’s about Road America – yes, the “RDAMCA” license plate I have on my Mustang is in reference to the fantastic Wisconsin racetrack that has helped develop my passion for racing and cars. I try and make it back at least once a year, even though I now live in Kansas City. I’ve got a track map framed in our house, next to a framed illustration of a group of race car drivers throughout history hanging out in Elkhart Lake, WI (where Road America is located). I love that place. Love it.

I went back in July of this year for their epic vintage racing weekend. As part of most race weekends there, a lunchtime event called “track touring” takes place; that’s a time for ordinary people to take their street cars onto the racetrack and experience what it’s like to drive the track, with controlled speeds, of course. This was my second time doing the track touring and I had some concerns about how the event was run, so when I got back to KC, I wrote a letter expressing my concerns and offering some solutions. If you’d like to read the letter, download it here.

I didn’t expect them to call, thank me profusely and tell me all my ideas were being implemented immediately. But I did expect to at least receive a form letter or email, thanking me for writing. It’s now October 18 (almost three months later) and I’ve received nothing. So, I went to Twitter today and tweeted at @roadamerica, which you can see below:

My first tweet at @roadamerica today

Ok, this response was kind of vague and mildly sarcastic but no big deal. So I replied.

My 2nd tweet at @roadamerica

More unnecessary, insulting sarcasm. Don’t get me wrong, I love sarcasm – just ask my wife. But not in this way. So I replied once more.

My 3rd tweet at @roadamerica

And this person still doesn’t realize I’m getting more and more irritated, or they just don’t care – either excuse is bad. Would it have been that hard to respond with “Sorry to hear that – not sure what happened. I’ll DM you the correct person that it should go to in a sec.” Or even better, “Email it to me – I’ll make sure it gets to the right person.” Not to mention this person not understanding the purpose of retweeting – it’s to share answers/info that your other followers might find useful. Pretty sure most of their followers don’t care about my simple question.

It’s not like I was trying to write a letter to Tim Cook or Alan Mulally; we’re talking about a privately-owned business that has 10 people listed in their staff directory. Two of those ten people are the Marketing & Promotions manager and the Communications manager. Two people that should care enough about the brand they represent to make sure whomever manages their social media accounts does it right. And this sure as heck isn’t it.

Instead of taking the 30 seconds to help me, they took the sarcastic way out. So I’m going to use the power that I have by posting about it, and probably using this in future case studies, presentations, etc. about the wrong way to use social media. I did email my letter to the Track Operations manager, so we’ll see if he responds or not.

That response won’t change the point of this post though: if you’re going to have a social media presence, do it right. Don’t use it to anger your loyal fans.

EDIT: Finally received responses from Road America today (10/19), the morning after I posted this.

That’s all I was looking for…in August. It’s just disappointing that it took a bunch of tweets and me calling them out in a blog post to get the canned, basic response that meets average customer service standards. I shouldn’t be baffled by great brands that can’t even get basics right, but this is just one of many examples out there. It’s a great reminder that, as marketers, we can’t ignore the basics even as we chase the next big thing.

Add Jabra to Your List of Companies that “get” Social Media

A while back, I wrote a post about companies I’d had experience with on Twitter – the good, the mediocre and the bad. I got some feedback from three of the companies I mentioned, plus a comment from a guy named Adam Waid with a much worse experience. Now that I’ve had another interesting interaction with a company on Twitter, I figured it was time for another post.

I bought myself a new Bluetooth headset about a month ago, after losing my previous one. I probably use it for a total of 1 hour a week, at the most, and I don’t walk around the mall with it on my ear as a fashion statement. So I went to Best Buy and found a low-end Jabra (BT2070) for $29.99, I think. After getting it home and trying it for a while, I just couldn’t get it the speaker part to stay in my ear. It kept falling out so I had to hold it in with one hand to hear people, which kind of defeats the point of a Bluetooth headset.

Not feeling like driving up to Best Buy, I posted a message @Jabra_US asking if I was doing something wrong or if they had any tips. Within an hour or two, I was trading messages with Wayne (part of the @Jabra_US team). Wayne did some research, asked me a couple questions, and finally sent me this DM.

Effective, friendly, personal communication - perfect.

So I sent him my address, not sure what I’d be getting. We traded a couple more messages, including one after 11 PM (Wayne, you work too hard!). And then a package arrived with a brand new, Jabra BT2080 arrived at my door – a much nicer headset that costs almost twice as much at Best Buy. Wow. They sure didn’t need to do that. They could have apologized and recommended I take it back to Best Buy, and I would have thought that perfectly reasonable and been fine with it. But instead, they went above & beyond with fast, friendly service, they took care of my problem, and they’ve now got a customer who will recommend them to others and probably not buy another brand in their category ever.

To the @Jabra_US team (especially Wayne), I say, as a consumer, thank you! And as a marketer myself, I say, thank you for another example of a company that truly “gets it.”

Jabra did not ask me to write this post or do anything in exchange for the replacement headset; I’m posting this because I’m suitably impressed.