Lip Service

This is a post about acting concerned and pretending to take action – when in fact it’s all just appearances.

Follow-through is, sadly, an amazingly absent thing these days. Posting on social media doesn’t make it all okay.

I wrote about my little issue with UPS and their very long-visit-every-city-like-it's-a-reunion-tour delivery of my grandson’s birthday gift. I posted on Twitter with a picture of the tracking history, and a very nice rep from UPS responded via Twitter – very concerned. I needed to contact help via email – which I did.

Ancient history, the gift arrived – late – but it arrived. All done. Right?

The Tweet heard around the world. Sort of.

The Tweet heard around the world. Sort of.

Well my daughter, Lindsey, in Louisville, bought a coffee table online and it was shipped via UPS, she tweeted to me her tracking record, which had a few entries and stated her concern that I may have jinxed her. I responded back with “you think that’s bad, take a load of this” and posted the final tracking of my delivery.

For the record, I do not possess magical powers to jinx anyone. UPS does fine on its own.

Lindsey's puny tracking history.

Lindsey's puny tracking history.

Because of our Iittle public exchange on Twitter (and the fact that both of us used @UPS) I got another response from UPS, very concerned, telling me to contact Help.

My Very Impressive Tracking History. 

My Very Impressive Tracking History. 

The problem is, is that their Help department isn’t. And my issue was old news.

So, they may have this awesomely concerned presence on Twitter, it just isn’t reality. And besides that, they aren’t really reading the content. My issue was done. Over. Delivered.

What in the heck was Help going to do? Good for you! Your package arrived!

What bothers me is the fact that the folks monitoring Twitter are a world apart from the folks answering email at the Help Desk.

This is a company that clearly doesn’t have its act together. Is it because they’re too big? Too disorganized? Or perhaps it’s because they know they need a Twitter presence, they’ve probably had a Help Desk since the phone was invented, and they have never even considered that the two should be linked.

The folks following Twitter respond almost immediately, and the Help Desk is the same, lame, do-nothing entity it has always been.

This is about customer service. And customer service at its most rudimentary does some sort of follow-up.

But instead, I get lip service – which is the hallmark of lazy, out-of-touch businesses run by the smartest guys in the room. They’re clueless as to what’s going on with their product in the public market.

So, yeah, I can bring this back to Advertising, Marketing – any business: find out what your customer experience is. You don’t need a focus group. Just ask your employees what they hear and see from their customers Every Day.

 If you’re not paying attention (aka listening) someone will come along and simply do what you do – better. 

Gramma Isn't Happy

Or maybe, this should be called . . .

This is Gavin. Yep, he's cool. He also deserves his Awesome Tonka Truck for his Birthday.

This is Gavin. Yep, he's cool. He also deserves his Awesome Tonka Truck for his Birthday.

“Use Twitter to let companies know they underperform because Help doesn’t get it.”

Okay, on occasion I take to this blog to write about something non-advertising-related. And this is one of those times. My grandson, Gavin’s, birthday present is late.

Yes, it’s worthy of a post. You’ve been there, I’m sure.

He isn’t going to get his gift on time.

I love I buy books and gifts for my grandkids (I know, it’s stupefying to believe that I have grandchildren). And everything gets shipped directly to them. Easy. As. Pie.

It works out nicely, because if I ship to my house (I have Prime so it’s free), I have to pay sales tax, and then I have to repackage and pay more to ship to the grandkids. Besides, it leaves a big carbon footprint, or something like that, with all that driving around by UPS and extra packaging and stuff. It’s plenty warm in Las Vegas already, thank you very much.

So I ordered this awesome Tonka Tow Truck. Little boys should always have a Tonka Truck of some kind. Metal. Sharp edges. Stands up to the elements. Gavin lives in OR – E – GUN. Officially spelled OREGON. (It's relevant - read on.)

I’ve been tracking the package, because this IS for his Birthday.

Here’s the route as of today.

So I did what any normal Gramma with a sense of self-righteousness and a Twitter account would do – I tweeted.

I got a fast response from UPS via Twitter.

I followed their instructions to contact Help.

I got another fast response from UPS via email.

I answered them back.

They answered back with a wholly uninspired answer.

Uh, sorry. Guess that’s the way it is.

A little dissatisfied with the response, I did what seemed to be the very logical next step. I took to Twitter again. Then the folks at UPS asked me for my email address.

Well, you get the idea.

So right now my email and Twitter are ringing off the hook (if they were phones and we were living in 1970).

So I got a Twitter response via email. Huh? And, where the heck is UPS located? The timestamp puts them somewhere in Portugal. Oh well.

My point is, I guess: you just have to take to Twitter to get noticed. “Help” certainly was responsive but un-help-ful.

And my second point, more important than my first complainy point: Christmas is coming. UPS, get it together because I order from and I am not ready to place my Christmas order quite yet.

So, yeah, this really does come down to Advertising. I just saw a whole bunch of ads last night about UPS Logistics(Actually one spot, run a gazillion times – great media buy, by the way, can’t you rotate just a couple of spots to make it more interesting?) 

"Get good" is the line in the spot.

Awesome, but I want to get it in time for Gavin’s birthday. He deserves it.

The end.