352 Inc. / Digital Marketing / February 12th, 2008

Customer Service Web 2.0 Style

Anyone who was raised a military brat knows all to well the horrors of moving every few years.  I just moved into my new home and tallied up my moves.  24…that’s only a few years less that I have been alive!  One of the few skills I have, that I hate to put to use.  The chaos of moving runs the gamut of tasks.  One miss step and you are likely owing someone money or wasting a bunch of time correcting your mistake.  

This particular move I was doing quite well.  Until the day before I HAD to be out of my apartment that is.  The cleaning lady I hired to spick and span the apartment before handing it over and inevitably getting only a partial return of my security deposit, didn’t show!  What to do?  I had made the appointment over a month ago and didn’t have their company name or phone number handy.  I was in an empty apartment for gods sake and hadn’t kept a phone book for years.  Luckily I had my iPhone (don’t worry this isn’t an iPhone saved the day entry… even though it did)  The yellowpages.com has a cool iPhone web app that allows you to quickly and efficiently search and view your results.  After a little scanning I recognized the company and hooked up with them.  Now fast forward a few weeks.  I’ve started to settle in, in other words my PC, TV, PS3 and Wii are ready to go.  Actually the Wii had a problem.  The IR bar didn’t reach from under the TV to where my AV rack was.  Solution? Very cool.  2 weeks later still no new IR bar.  

Now I am finally getting to my point.  I tracked my package through Amazon, which is a cool feature unto itself.  It was sent to my old address.  Doh!  No change of address form with UPS.  Rather than send an email I decided to give Amazon a call and see what could be done.  It’s kinda hard to find the phone number on Amazon’s site.  I didn’t give up though and decided to click on the ‘help’ link in the top right hand corner of the site, found the search box and put in ‘Phone numbers’.  I expected the usual list of useless results with the contact us page in spot 3 or 4.  Low and behold I saw the actual contact us page flashed before my eyes when this page showed up.  *click* *typed my number* *enter*, bam my phone was ringing and a rep was on the other end. 

I’ve seen these click-to-call things before but how many present themselves to you when you search under ‘phone numbers’ on their site.  Very cool.  Turns out I have to wait for the return process to finish, at which time I get a refund and have to do the order all over again.  Who cares? No big deal.  A bonus… the rep is going to follow up with me in 3 weeks (the normal time the return process takes, to ensure things went they way they should.) We’ll see if the human element of Amazon.com is a useful as the digital one.