Linkedin helps !

I like Linkedin. On three occasions it has helped me solve my problems as a customer. Here are the three incidents –

1. Fenesta …. I am scared to relate the incident even. This happened four years back in 2010 around the same time, July-August. We wanted to change the large window like doors of the living room and found the Fenesta dealer in Gurgaon. Gave him the cheque nearly three weeks in advance and finally the folks from Fenesta arrived to fix the windows …. Actually real trouble came from Fenesta, not the engineers. The existing doors came off in a jiffy and then trouble started. The new doors were the wrong size. And it started to rain. After much heartburn and a shouting match I got the dealer to bring shower curtains and put them in place on our curtains. We kept heavy stuff on the bottom of the shower curtains to stop the rain. This happened for two days. Then we got the right size and once that got fixed, I thought the troubles were over. Not so soon. We saw that the new door had a crack the very next day and was told by Fenesta that it’s not toughened glass and it couldn’t take the strain !! I lost it completely and looked up Linkedin to find Fenesta’s CEO and wrote to him. I got immediate attention and things got set right, with some delays still, but atleast I got the toughened glass without extra charge. No complaints on the quality of the product, but customer service was just messed up, becoming customer stress not service.

2. Eureka Forbes – I have used a Eureka Forbes vacuum cleaner “only” courtesy my dear friend Vasan working for them long back. About six weeks back I wanted to change the vacuum cleaner and wanted one with the wet and dry feature. I called their call centre and left a request three times. The number doesn’t work in Gurgaon, so I used the Delhi number. From the second and third time, the CSA knew my address but no one came for a visit ! I couldn’t believe it and neither could Vasan. He said, he expected four people to land up at home :). Again Linkedin came to the rescue. I looked up the direct sales leader and got connected, sent him a note and in a couple of hours the vacuum cleaner dealer called and the vacuum cleaner reached home the next day. My loyalty is not shaken because the product is fantastic, but my customer service experience is shaken.

3. ICICI bank… This is a real painful story. I got locked out of one of my ICICI accounts and if someone pulls up my call to the call centre, it will serve very well as an example of how to get a normal customer completely mad. My mother got scared seeing my face and hearing me screaming. I had to go to a branch of ICICI to get my phone number updated, only then, the email could be updated and only then could I unlock my account. Or the option was to use my debit card, create a pin and update at the ATM… If I hadn’t used the debit card I cannot get the pin either ! For an account that I hardly use, I was being given the run with a cord threaded through my nose – yep like the town fool. I was so livid that I wrote on my Linkedin status about this and wanted to know if someone had a contact with the head of customer service at ICICI. Within minutes one of my contacts got me in touch with a contact at ICICI and every thing got sorted this Saturday, with him coming home and collecting the KYC documents. While I am happy it’s sorted, I still think ICICI needs to get in tune with the times and not remain stuck to its archaic ways of customer service. Especially don’t tell your CSAs to give the answer that it’s for my safety – it’s not. A thief will not go calling your customer service centre to hack into my account…. So let’s not go there.

Am a difficult customer but am also very appreciative of great customer service. The only customer service centre that provides truly world class service is American Express. All other banks and other customer service centres should probably send their CSAs to be trained by AMEX.

That said – Linkedin helps getting in touch with the right people till customer service is understood by our service providers !!

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