Seeing the Rolling Stones prancing on stage this summer reminded me of a favorite song from my youth. “You can’t always get what you want,” croons Mick Jagger who still looks good despite the years on his craggy face. The next line, “But if you try sometime, you just might find, you get what you need” was indeed true as I used twitter to resolve an issue with Budget Rent A Car.
How, you might ask, did I get from the Stones, to twitter, to a rental car?
Well, it all starts out with a girls’ mini-vacation in Florida.
My BFF since age 5, Kim, and her friend Laurie, invited me for a few days of sun and fun in Sarasota. Their timing was perfect since I had just wrapped up campaign management for the grueling Lisa Rice for Criminal Court Judge campaign. (Lisa, who worked very hard, took a decisive primary victory and now moves on unopposed in the August general election.)
When we arrived at Tampa airport the SUV that we scheduled was not available. Instead we were offered a “Mom van.” (No thanks, we were three moms on vacation!) The agent “upsold” us a Lincoln Navigator at about twice the original price. None of us was happy so I took to the twitter “airwaves.” The great thing about twitter is it affords each of us an opportunity to have our voice heard. We are no longer just a number.
In a series of tweets, I gently nudged @Budget about the upsell and asked why our first car wasn’t available. It took them a couple of days to get me the response I needed but I will give Budget full credit for what they did right. Here was their response, four tips we can all learn from:
1- They took the conversation offline – Instead of letting this play out in front of everyone on twitter Budget asked me to send an email direct to their social media help desk.
2- They apologized – Yes, in private direct messages they apologized!
3- They made it right – At first they promised a rebate of one-half of the upsell but…
4- They delighted the customer –In the end, Budget gave us the “upsell” vehicle at the original vehicle’s price. Thank you Budget and now I am writing a column and blogging about you in a positive way. I know my two friends are also thrilled and “singing” Budget’s praises. Wonder what the value of that word of mouth is? As you head out on summer vacation remember, knowing how to use twitter effectively can help you “get what you need.” Do you have some vacation/communications best practices you would like to share?