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Self Service Sneaks In

I am about to embark on several months of pretty continuous travel. I consider myself a fairly savvy traveler, and I can navigate and maneuver myself through most situations. It’s inevitable though, that at some point, I am going to need the help of customer service. I’m sure I will have a tale or two to tell, and I can only hope that many of them are successful ones. 

Most of the time, I make a very concerted effort to self-service. I find this channel to typically be more efficient, more time-effective, and certainly less invasive to my busy life. I’m usually changing flights and modifying car rentals directly from my iPhone while I am on the shuttle, editing an article, and carrying on a conversation with the stranger next to me. (And let’s be honest, there’s also some frequent online shoe shopping happening here.)

And yesterday was by all accounts, not any different. I needed to make some modifications to a hotel reservation, so I quickly jumped online to Marriott.com and altered my dates. The entire interaction took me about 90 seconds.  But then something happened…

I started poking around my account and realized I hadn’t been credited for a recent stay. So, I checked their knowledgebase, came to an understanding as to why not, and again felt satisfied. Then out of curiosity I began reviewing hotel options for some upcoming trips, and ended up booking two more reservations. Oh, and since I was already inside my profile, I updated my mailing address and made an attempt to change my last name. Yes, merely an attempt. It was here that I was thwarted.

My momentum was admittedly deflated when I was suddenly instructed to call customer service. Apparently for security reasons I was not allowed to add my newly acquired, (and newly married), last name onto my account. But then I regained my giddiness! Why had I been suddenly so disappointed? It was because I was being so successful at self-service! I had spent the last 30 minutes self-serving, without even realizing it. The Marriott.com process to move between the knowledgebase, to my account, into the reservation system, and back again had all been seamless. Self-service had successfully snuck in!

And now here’s my segue into another ACCE Speaker of the Week. You see, last week the talented Jacqueline Anderson of J.D. Power and Associates snuck past me. She wrote this great article, “Social Serving a Must?”, and I missed my opportunity to properly introduce her. So let me make up for that!  While at ACCE in Seattle, Jacqueline is participating in a panel for “Innovative Approaches to Self-Service”. She and the other experts will look at all the ways self-service helps the company, the customer, and the agent…while also discussing some brand new technology and concepts that will transform the self-service channel.

Hopefully you’ll have a chance to hear Jacqueline at ACCE, but just in case, here’s a little more about her sneaky self.

ICMI: What excites you most about presenting at ACCE this year?

Jacqueline: I am excited about having some great conversations around social servicing and bringing information to attendees that may help inspire them to think about how they deliver best-in-class service experiences via social media

ICMI: What quirky customer service fact would you like our ICMI community to know about you?

Jacqueline: I worked in the restaurant industry for a number of years as a server, hostess and event coordinator-I have had to deal with all types of customer service issues. My most memorable may be the bride who split her dress wide open during her reception. I gathered a few other employees and we stapled/hand stitched her back in : )

ICMI: What is the one takeaway you hope to give your audience?

Jacqueline: Using social media as a servicing channel is truly an opportunity to extend your brand experience and foster ongoing consumer engagement.

ICMI: What is the one question YOU hope to get an answer to while at ACCE?

Jacqueline: I want to know the biggest struggles companies are trying to overcome when it comes to either implementing social servicing or taking it to the next level.

ICMI: What is the best customer experience you’ve had where you’ve been on the customer side?

Jacqueline: I recently had an issue where our account was mischarged by our lawn service company. The phone representative was completely rude and unhelpful. So much so, that I actually cancelled our ongoing services too. The social team however, chimed in and resolved the issue efficiently and quickly. I was so pleased I signed back on : )

Jacqueline can be reached, followed, liked, or shared through:
Twitter: @jaranderson
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/jackie-rousseau-anderson/0/a97/a61/

It should be considered a great thing when self-service sneaks in. That means it is working the way the company AND the customer need it to. Do you have places or experiences where you are successfully self-serving and not even realizing it? Tell us your stories!