I have been busily packing up my life into boxes in preparation for placing them into storage before I head overseas for a few months sabbatical. Inevitably, I packed something I now needed, the manual to the washing machine so I could check how to drain it properly. I had no clue which of the 20 or so sealed boxes it was in and certainly didn’t want to open them all to find it.
I turned to Google to try to find the manual, with no success. I then checked the website for NEC, the brand of washing machine I own and discovered that they no longer made washing machines. The signs were not looking good. In the footer of the site, I noticed they had prominent links to their twitter, youtube and flickr pages. So, I decided to turn to twitter, but did not hold out much hope.
So, I tweeted them the below message at 10:27am yesterday.
They then replied within 2 minutes with the following message.
So, I sent them the model number, as per the below.
And amazingly they came back to me within 10 minutes and had even posted the manual in pdf format to their website.
So, I thanked them with a shout out on twitter giving them a little bit of free PR and was a very happy customer indeed.
The experience was almost instant, approximately 10 minutes from first to last tweet, and was completely seamless. Email, a contact form on a website or phone could not have bettered this excellent customer experience.
NEC do not even manufacture washing machines anymore. So why give such good customer service for a discontinued product? They obviously understand how important exceptional customer service can be in engaging consumers and reinforcing their brand image within the marketplace. Whoever is leading the marketing/customer service (Social media seems to fall into different departments at various companies) team at NEC certainly seems to be doing a great job of utilising all possible channels to engage and manage customer experience. This is essential in todays changing digital world, where customers are turning to more and more channels of communication to engage with companies. NEC are certainly embracing this change and using it to their advantage, rather than ignoring it like many brands.
In the future, if I am faced between two equivalent products, NEC and another brand, I know where I will be spending my money based solely on this exceptional experience.
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