Villing & Company

Tale of Two "List" Sites: Customer Service Done Well and Not So Well

A couple of weeks ago, I told the tale of two states, comparing the marketing efforts of Indiana and Michigan. In that same spirit, I would like to share a tale of two popular websites: Angie’s List and Craigslist.

The story begins last night at about 10 p.m. I get a call on my cell phone asking for “Jose.” I respond that it must be a wrong number. The guy calls back and says that he doubled checked and the number is correct. He is responding to a Craigslist ad for a boat. Within a half hour, I get about a dozen more calls at which point I turn off my phone. Of course, the callers then started leaving voice messages or send me text messages.

To further complicate things, the boat is offered FREE – just to have someone pick it up and be rid of it. First come, first served. And Jose works second shift so he says people should call after 10 p.m. or before 4 p.m.

So last night and this morning, I spent considerable time on the Craigslist website trying to contact someone to rectify the situation. They have a score of email forms for just about any scenario – except mine. I tried several and in each case I got an automated response suggesting the same list of web forms that I had previously tried. Multiple replies brought only the same automated response. There is a phone number but the same thing happens. The phone tree provides no meaningful place to go unless I want to report a crime. Since I don’t want to be accused of filing a false report, it’s another dead end. No person to talk to. No way of solving the problem.

By sheer coincidence, I wanted to cancel my membership to Angie’s List this morning. No problem with their services. I just didn’t need them any more. In total contrast, I had a host of viable options for making contact. I decided on the chat function where I had a wonderful e-conversation with “Theresa.” She took care of the matter promptly and efficiently. It all took about five minutes. Maybe less.

I once heard a consultant say, “customer service” is the new media. I totally agree. Thousands of positive impressions can be made with effective customer relationship management. Thousands of negative impressions can likewise be made with poor customer relationship management.

For my part, I don’t expect to be using Craigslist for anything anytime soon. I only hope Jose gets rid of his boat somehow. I need some sleep.

Filed Under: general

Villing & Company

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130 S Main St, Suite 315
South Bend IN 46601

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