Yesterday, I shared with the first part of my experience with Arby's and social media.
Click here to read how it all started.
Everything was fine. The person Tweeting for Arby's was helpful, provided links and I was happy.
I even mentioned on Twitter that I would be sharing this story:
ScLoHo: The Twitter conversation and follow up I had with @Arbys today will be the subject of a story on ScLoHo's Social Media Adventure next week .
Then a few hours later, I received an email from the Customer Service people in response to what I filled out on their online form.
Dear Mr. Howard,
Thank you for taking the time to visit our Customer Feedback website to submit your comment.
Arby's Restaurant Group, Inc. is the servicer of the Arby's brand and currently owns and operates 1,100+ Arby’s restaurants. All our remaining restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees. Franchisees are allowed to run their own specials, issue their own coupons, and set their own prices for menu items. Please contact your local Arby's restaurants to find out about any specials they are running.
Contact us again if we can be of further assistance.
Arby’s Customer Relations
This was clearly a form letter. I would have been happier if they never wrote back, but when they sent this email which demonstrated that they were not really listening, I wrote back:
Thank you for your reply.
However, I believe you are not understanding the problem.
My neighborhood Arby's lists a special promotion. The most recent & current breakfast promotion is a wrap combo including potato cakes, wrap and a drink for $2.99 plus tax.
4 times now, I have ordered this and had to correct the cashier when they wanted to charge me over $4.00.
With tax, the special costs $3.23.
No coupons are required, the posters are in the store windows, and yet there is a problem getting the person taking the order to push the right buttons.
If you are not able to help, then please give me the name and contact information of who I should talk to.
And I also went back to Twitter:
ScLoHo: Things were going good in my Twitter conversation with @Arbys . Then the form letter arrived via email. Will be an interesting blog post
I decided to write a 2nd part of this Arby's story which is what you are reading now.
The person who tweets for Arby's responded:
arbys: @ScLoHo Did you get a confirmation number in your email? If so, can you send me your number?
So I tweeted back the confirmation number and also this tweet:
ScLoHo: @Arbys All I really want to do is help with a customer service price issue. I really like & will continue to do biz with you
And they responded:
@ScLoHo We appreciate the feedback & your business! We will alert the franchisee regarding the accuracy of specials / promos as we definitely want you & all customers to have a positive experience at our restaurants.
So, the person on Twitter was better at customer service than the person(s) manning the website customer service desk.
This is a classic case of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, but fortunately the person Tweeting on behalf of Arby's took charge and took action.
I thought all was over, until I got this note in my email Saturday:
Dear Mr. Howard,
Thank you for taking the time to contact us regarding the problem you encountered with your recent visit to one of our restaurants. We share your concern and frustration with the incident you encountered, and sincerely regret any inconvenience this may have caused you.
Please be assured that, at Arby's, quality and consumer satisfaction are our highest priorities. Thanks to consumers like you and the information you provide, we are better able to trace the source of a problem and take any actions that may be necessary to resolve it.
Your comments have been shared with both the Area Supervisor and the Director of Operations for the Fort Wayne Arby's. They are addressing this issue with the restaurant's management and staff to ensure that all orders are being correctly rung in and that all customers are charged the appropriate price for their meals. I have also requested that the Area Supervisor contact you directly regarding this issue since it has happened on more than one occasion.
Once again, our apologies for your inconvenience and I hope we can continue to consider you a valued customer.
Jacquie Moore Arby's Customer Relations
Note that this is the first time that a person actually attached their name to the conversation.
I wrote back:
Please understand I am very happy with Arby's, and the store that I visit most often.
I work in marketing, advertising and consulting with regards to building customer relations and my concern is not personal, but only through my personal experiences have noticed this problem that some one should be aware of so steps can be taken to correct.
My reason for sharing all of this with you was not to scold Arby's.
Quite the opposite.
They stumbled a bit but they went out of their way to respond even 4 days later!
And the story continues:
Monday evening I received a phone call from the local store manager, which went to my voicemail.
He wanted to talk to me personally about my experience and he left his cell phone number and also mentioned that he would have the next couple of days off.
I decided to not disturb him on his days off, but this morning I returned his call and he was very gracious and honest in explaining what happens when they have special promotions and promised to improve on making sure the front line employees where more diligent in ringing up orders correctly.
The lesson to learn:
You are bound to make mistakes, what matters most is how you handle them.
Sometimes the best way to handle a customer service question is a face to face or at least telephone conversation.
Don't hide behind the technology or websites and social media. Use them as tools, but be sure to dig in until you have done everything possible to satisfy your customers and clients.