Twitter Solves Customer Service Ridiculousness

I’ve heard stories about how Twitter can be used to address customer service complaints, but had never experienced it first hand until last week (I know this post is a bit late to the show, but it’s been very busy around here).  Here’s a synopsis of what happened:

On March 13, I ordered a Visa reward card from U.S. bank to use credit card reward points.  After a month, I had not received it.  I called U.S. Bank customer service to find out about the status of my card.  I ended up getting transferred five times and spent 40 minutes on the phone – just to reach the person I needed to ask the question to because apparently no one knew and no one knew how to transfer me directly!  I told the same story to every person.  In the process, I got transferred once to someone trying to sell me something and had several of my waiting transfer calls dropped.

When I finally got to the correct person, they said they would resend my card.  I would receive it in 7-10 days and they would even waive the $15 fee since I had not lost the card.  Needless to say, I was not happy.  I vented on Twitter using the hash tags “usbank” and “horribleservice”.  The next day, @AskUSBank was following me and had replied to my post asking me to direct message them my contact information so they could get in touch with me about my problem.

I replied to U.S. Bank via direct message and later that day got a call from someone at U.S. Bank who wanted to look into my situation.  It’s a good thing he did because he said he could not find any record of what I had been told.  He wanted to research the issue and call me back.  He called back within two hours and said that my original card had been returned (still don’t know why – and still don’t know why I was never contacted).  He said he would have the card resent and if I did not have it within four mail days, to call him directly.  I got the card two days early.

Overall, there are clearly some major customer service and operational gaps in this process.  I am, however, happy that Twitter helped solve my problem and that Ryan (the person I spoke with) took the initiative to be proactive about what should have never been an issue for me.

Meeting the BearQuarters – Part 1

Today the interns had a three hour session during which different directors, managers, supervisors, etc. from around the BearQuarters (headquarters) shared what they do in their departments and in their roles.  It was interesting to see how it all fits together and how so few people do so much.

Below are a few notes that I took, some more serious than others ( 🙂 ):

  • International likes fun vocabulary words.  Today’s word: “pachanga” – Spanish for”a rowdy celebration”.
  • Build-A-Bear posts jobs/looks for applicants on Monster, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.
  • Build-A-Bear has extremely low turnover and hires an even smaller percentage of applicants.  Besides the fact that the company is awesome, I’m sure that this has to do with the fact that it is one of Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For.
  • Communication is never perfect – but what can we do better next time?
  • Who is our Guest?  Everything starts with our Guests – a.k.a. customer service is key!
  • Build-A-Bear has some pretty exciting licensing agreements – including fruit snacks!  There is also a new “craftshop” series of products coming to Michael’s in September.

We will continue the conversation with Meet the BQ Part 2 next week.

The Amazing 12 Year Old Sixth Grade Musician

This guy is going places.  Greyson Michael Chance is a 12 year old in the 6th Grade in Oklahoma.  He plays the piano, writes songs, sings, etc.  He has great musical talent and is clearly going somewhere.  He has become famous for a rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi”.  In the past 3.5ish hours, the video has received almost 1 million new views for a total of more than 2.1 million views!  Personally though, I like his two original songs even better.  Watch out Justin Bieber…

Check out Greyson’s YouTube Channel.

The following article is from Yahoo!:

Little Lord Gaga: Greyson Michael Chance’s “Paparazzi” Is A Web Sensation

Posted Tue May 11, 2010 4:17pm PDT by Lyndsey Parker

Lady Gaga parodies and tributes abound on the Interweb–some funny, some serious, some good, some not-so-good. But the school recital performance of “Paparazzi” by boy wonder Greyson Michael Chance just might be the best yet. As the teacher emceeing the Edmond’s Sixth Grade Festival says at the end of Greyson’s stunning piano performance, this mega-talented kid could even “teach Lady Gaga a lesson.”

Greyson is bona fide prodigy (as his lovely original piano compositions “Stars” and “Broken Hearts” on his YouTube channel demonstrate), and his talents are being celebrated on a national scale now that his “Paparazzi” video–in which he bangs out the piano ballad while his classmates look on in shock and awe, mouths agape–has gone viral. The video has gotten more than 36,000 views so far, and he’s even been invited to perform on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this Thursday.

According to his bio on his YouTube profile, Greyson is “very inspired by Lady Gaga and Augustana.” Greyson additionally explains: “Lady Gaga is a freak but she has so much talent and her style of music is what I would like mine to be when I’m older. Augustana is one of the most underrated bands I think ever to step [on] the planet. They have so much talent it is not funny. They have such a good concept with folk and rock. It is very sad that they are so unknown.”

Greyson may look like a Justin Bieber clone with his sideswept-banged bowl cut, but with musical taste like that, clearly this boy is no prepubescent pop robot. This kid is deep. (His aforementioned original song “Stars” is about a woman who dies of cancer and meets her husband in heaven, for instance–not exactly “One Less Lonely Girl,” huh?) Today’s tween fangirls would be way better off worshipping a role model like Greyson over Bieber–and judging from the flustered way the girls react in the background of his recital clip, such wide-scale worship may not be far off. After Greyson’s upcoming “Ellen” appearance, surely countless more tweens will be his biggest fans, following him until he loves them.