After writing my post about TCF, I spent some time thinking about customer service and the impact it has on public relations for a company. Without strong customer service, a company is probably going to have a hard time thriving in the public relations realm.
I started to think that maybe I had too high of expectation of TCF. I don't often write complaint letter, but last year, it was necessary for me after a NIGHTMARE experience with Delta. It was my first time flying alone, and I got stuck in Milwaukee overnight due to technical issues with a plane. Without going into the gory details- I stayed in a hotel and came back to the airport at 3 am to see if I cleared standby for the flight I was switched to.
I went to speak with an attendant to get my standby ticket, and she looked at me, looked at her coworker and said "I'm way to hungover to deal with this. I can't believe I have to deal with these people today." I kept calm, but was incredibly disgusted at the attendant. At least wait until I'm out of earshot...
After I finally made it to Florida (my bags didn't make it), I sat down and wrote a calm email to Delta explaining my frustrations. I wasn't ready to boycott Delta completely, I just wanted to make someone aware that they need to step up their standards a bit.
I received a personalized email from a customer service rep explaining how sorry they were, and talking about my personal situation. This did give me a voucher to cover some of the cost of my next flight, which was also a bonus.
Of course I told everyone about my awful flight, but I also let everyone know how impressed I was by the quick response by Delta and what they did to remedy the situation. I have flown Delta ever since, and even though they still make mistakes, I know that I won't have trouble with their customer service department.
This brings me back to my point: customer service departments are essential in forming a positive public image of a company. Without strong customer service, people aren't going to care what your company has to say. I follow Delta on Twitter and Facebook, and had they not given me good customer service, I definitely would not care what they had to say through social media. I would have formed a strong opinion, and my behaviors would reflect my attitude toward them. Delta may not have the best customer service reps in the airports, but as long as you're willing to take the time to contact Delta and let them know about your experience, they are going to treat you well.