Two levels of customer service is a recipe for underwhelming.
Recently I had problem with Airmiles regarding some ski passes I ordered. I needed them fast, their delivery commitment was slow. So, I went to the website and filled out the email form, following the rules like a good customer. The response I got told me I could expect to wait 4-5 days for a response.
On what planet is that delay acceptable today?
So, I tweeted my displeasure and got an immediate response suggesting I email the company’s Twitter email address. I did, and that email was answered the same day. After a little back and forth we solved the problem. Then I got the response from the the original email form submission from four days prior. In my mind – as with all customer interactions – I wasn’t talking to Joe, or Suzy, I was talking to Airmiles; so what the heck?
One of the problems this highlights for me (and there are a few to choose from) is a lack of connection within the company. Consumers today have access to many channels to talk to brands. Many of them use multiple channels. If those experiences aren’t aligned, you are not consistently delivering on the brand promise. There has to be consistency, and there shouldn’t be secret clubs for those who find the right channel. Unless of course you are trying to change behaviour, but then shut the channel down. Don’t under deliver.