Author: Brittany Hodak
How many times have you written off an entire company based on your interactions with ONE employee? Don’t make the choice Xfinity made…
A few weeks ago I got a call out of the blue that left me so shocked I have to share the story.
Let’s get into it…
We’ve all been in situations where we said certain vendors were so difficult to work with because that one person was rude or was slow to respond to an email. In today’s experience economy, every employee is a living representation of your brand and has the power to shape its reputation.
A few weeks ago, I received a phone call from an Xfinity telesales agent named Charles. Normally, I wouldn’t have picked up the call, but it came from the same area code as mine and I thought it might have been important (they got me ).
I have Xfinity gigabit-speed internet and am satisfied with it, but Charles was determined to upsell me on the X1 Box, which I don’t need because all of my TVs are Amazon Fire devices. I politely declined the offer twice and explained to Charles that I did not need an X1 box. He was IRATE; he yelled at me and said that I obviously didn’t understand how valuable it was and that I must be afraid of change. Then, he hung up on me. Ouch!
Ironically, at the start of our conversation he said the call was being recorded for training purposes, so I tweeted at Xfinity Support and gave them Charles’s phone number so they could listen to the recording ASAP. A nice man named Robert apologized and told me that he would look into it, but that telesales is handled by an independent third party so there wasn’t much they could do.
An! Independent! Third! Party!
When I answered the phone, did Charles say, “Hi, I’m calling as an independent third-party salesperson working on commission to upsell you something?” Nope. He said, “Hi, I’m Charles, I’m calling from Xfinity to review an important item on your account.”
Guess what? Every employee — and every “independent third party” having conversations on behalf of your brand — is a representative of your company!
It doesn’t matter to customers if the telesales agent doesn’t technically work for your company. Or if it’s Dave’s third day in his role. Or if Suzie had zero involvement in creating the store’s return policy. Any employee can be responsible for the first (and maybe last!) impression someone forms about your brand. Whether it’s your corporate employees, the agents on the frontlines, or third-party vendors, you’ve got to ensure that everyone is representing your brand in the right way.
If your employees and contractors are apathetic about your brand, your customers will be, too.
If you choose to outsource your customer-facing positions (something I am NOT a proponent of), then you must find partners who understand your company’s mission and have the same dedication to customer centricity. While I understand that Charles isn’t an accurate reflection of all of the employees at Xfinity, our interaction still diluted my perception of the brand. If they don’t care enough to properly screen and train customer-facing sales agents, then do they really care about me as a customer?
Xfinity regained some points thanks to Robert quickly addressing my inquiry on Twitter, but I can’t help but wonder how many Charleses there are for every Robert?
Think about ALL of the people that work with your company, both directly and indirectly. If I randomly drew a name from a hat, would you feel comfortable with any of these individuals representing your brand?
If the answer is no, shoot me a message so we can talk about how to change that.
“It takes months to find a customer… seconds to lose one.”
Have a great week and I’ll talk to you next Tuesday!
Article published originally on LinkedIn and written by Brittany Hodak
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