I was worried as I opened up an unfamiliar email from a Valvoline employee in response to my recent blog post on my subpar customer service experience at Valvoline. While I was pleasantly surprised to have a customer service representative contact me by email asking for a phone call to discuss my experience, in the back of my mind I told myself, this is why social media is so powerful.
A little background – my experience at Valvoline had left me with a sour taste in my mouth that led me to consider taking my business elsewhere.
I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous when the rep, Patty, sent me an email asking for my feedback. It felt like I was being called out by my older brother for “telling mom” about something he was guilty of. I wasn’t sure how Patty would respond… would she be confrontational or understanding?
Well, after less than 30 seconds on the phone, I understood that Patty wasn’t there to reprimand me, but to win back my business and through that the influence I might have on others.
She hit on four things
- Reimbursed me the $4 that wasn’t given to me by the oil change
- Understood that the owner should have given me the discount
- Explained that the General Manager was notified
- Offered me a free future oil change
Sure, I was embarrassed when she brought up the blog post I had written, but why should anyone be afraid to mention their dissatisfaction online? Social media is to the masses what editorial contributions used to be in newspapers. I don’t need to be a man of prominence to have my voice heard. And Valvoline understands that.
This situation with Valvoline was not a vendetta to receive a free oil change, heck, I didn’t want to be called out at all, but it was an opportunity to show how great social media is. Valvoline Instant Oil Change understands that their customers need to be taken seriously whether in person or online.
Maybe this is just a drop in the ocean towards fixing customer service at large businesses, but it contributes to building that sea up. As a young, connected person with many oil changes ahead, Valvoline made an excellent choice to reach out.