You think you have had a bad customer service experience, until you find yourself on the receiving end of what Orange Kenya calls customer service. In today’s corporate environment where everyone is trying all avenues to rub their customers’ egos, it is unfortunate that Orange Kenya chooses to ignore the customers’ queries. Or as it seems, someone brought their beer to work, and is sleeping on the keyboard as demonstrated by this tweet sent out from their twitter account on Friday evening.
— Orange Kenya (@OrangeKenya) March 9, 2012
Yesterday, there was a massive data outage, and while other providers were busy apologizing to their customers, orange Kenya went on with life as usual, responding hours later to only a selective number of tweets. Orange Kenya fails to understand the vulnerability of their products in the face of such atrocious customer service. More than once, when you call their customer service, you end up in the unfortunate hands of an agent who knows very little about the company’s product. Sometimes you end up providing the agent with more information than they provide you!
One wonders how hard is it for Orange Kenya to have a person committed to engaging their customers on social media. How hard is it to tweet ‘we are experiencing this and this problem, kindly bear with us.” You do not let a tweet or an inquiry linger for hours. Social media is a fast moving tool. Companies are turning to it to give their customers fast response, and to track minute by minute growth of their products. Look at Safaricom for example. They even wish their customers a goodnight. Their twitter page has grown, assimilating into the group and becoming one of the twitteratis, sometimes even shedding off the seriousness. It doesn’t matter how much of a bashing they get for their awful services, they find a way to hold it by the horns and turn it around.
If you look at Orange Kenya’s timeline on twitter, more of what goes on there is embracing praise and shunning the complains from dissatisfied customers. The questions are ignored, and the praise is retweeted. You are not on twitter for people to visit your page and think, wow!, people are saying good things about you- you must have really good products. You are first there to respond to your customers queries immediately because the process of calling through the customer service desk is a nightmare. Just as the praise is seen by thousands of people, a customer’s consistent complain will be seen by as many people. Worse still if this customer keeps at it because of lack of response.
Even the ever failing Kenya Power has a stronger customer-service culture on twitter. It really does not matter how badly off your products are. How about you work at retaining the few that you have?
As someone once said, customers are just asking one simple question – Is anybody out there?