A few months ago after lots of (real world) searching I had the misfortune of discovering my beloved Aeroccino in the dishwasher.
After a full wash cycle. (Video below for those unsure what this thing is.)
Sure, it was shiny shiny clean, but I tried to diplomatically explain, in my not-so-subtle gesture like heated Spanish, to the sweet lady from eastern Europe who does the house cleaning, what exactly the tiny writing on the base of the Aeroccino means when it reads DO NOT IMMERSE right there next to the infamous Made in China.
Yo no hablo inglés
OK, horse and bolted and all that, I shouldn´t have even bothered, besides by this stage it didn´t matter, the Aeroccino circuitry was more flooded than the Titanic ballroom by now and all I could possibly do at this point was take solace in some sort of "what a crap day I´m having..." tweet.
Instead, I tweeted @Nespresso and posed the question:
Could I bake it back to life?
After all the thing had already had a intimate tour of other white goods in my kitchen, what harm would a few hours in the oven do it now?
It took me about an hour to prize the thing apart in order to pop it in the oven. After a gentle roasting I thought I would reduce my carbon footprint somewhat and just leave it outside instead to gain a steady tan in the Mediterranean sun.
I thought nothing of my tweet.
After all I screwed up as the owner, and had this been a phone returned for disassembly in a lab, the moisture detector would have been irreversibly activated by now, the device would have been returned to the owner with a nicely written letter along the lines of "you dropped it in the toilet, pay for a new one yada yada.."
Of course, I´m a loyal customer of Nespresso. I´ve had the machines for years and zealously evangelized them to others. I adore their direct mail and all those little luxe touches, I had previously tweeted Nespresso of the utopian possibility of re-ordering capsules by tweet, and had publicly observed how many advocates they seem to spawn online.
Nonetheless, in this age, when every wrong turn that is made by major brands in social media is so eagerly amplified and scrutinized by citizens and social media marketeers alike, it´s a breath of fresh air to report a positive experience from a brand. Nespresso is a premium positioned brand that is part of Nestle which at the time was getting a hammering for their PR social media disaster.
So what happened next? They listened and reacted.
At the time I had not tried to put the Swiss Italian Sino-humpty dumpty back together again and was finding other ways to obtain my milk mousse fix.
It took about two days of fiendish dexterity just to reassemble the Aeroccino let alone try it, but before I completed the task I was interrupted and received a phone call from George Clooney´s team themselves from the Barcelona office of Nespresso.
They expressed great interest in the state of my inebriated and disassembled Aeroccino and advised very kindly they could make arrangements.
I duly thanked them and shortly afterwards realised the lengths they went to just to obtain my telephone number. Either their social media team followed my online scent to my published contact details or they cross referenced me in their customer database. However I was tweeting to the global Nespresso account and received a call from the local Spanish offices. Commendable effort and attention to detail noted.
...great customer service happens every day......it deserves more celebration
It´s not my first customer service experience that has been transformed by social media but all too often, it´s the negative experiences that get amplified in the social media bubble that we hear about.
My professional role for clients is directing efforts from the other side of the fence, nonetheless it always feels great when something unexpectedly good happens as a consumer that reverses a negative into a positive. It deserves more celebration.
I didn´t take them up on the offer of a courtesy replacement, that wasn´t my intention in the first place.
Now, if only that tweet re-ordering of capsules could really happen......what else?
What great customer service have you had online?