Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley

I just came back from a trip to San Francisco today and it was a mix of business and pleasure but more to spend Memorial day with his college friend/best man. This was my first time there and my husband’s third and I had a wonderful time. Not once did we eat at a food chain and that also enhanced the experience – being able to eat at hidden gems. Just to name a few, we ate at Mission Beach Cafe (brunch – amazing brioche French toast), Cha Cha Cha (dinner – a Cuban fusion also the BEST meal of the trip) and Left Bank Brasserie (dinner – didn’t eat here but had an amazing cocktail).

Over the weekend, our host took us to the waterfront in San Francisco, we drove through Napa Valley, along the coast by Point Reyes (Limatour beach), down to Stinson beach, across the Golden gate bridge and also to have brunch at Fred’s Place in Sausalito. It was a touristy and fun trip. I may have gained a pound or five but it was definitely worth it. Another plus is that we did a lot of walking so I was able to exercise a bit in there.

While there, my husband did his first presentation on behalf of Microsoft (despite everyone thinking he was there for an interview at some company) and we visited other tech companies like Github, Twitter, IMO.Im and EA Games. As I mentioned before, he works for Microsoft, and one thing I found particularly interesting is the female to male ratio in these companies. From what I’ve seen in the last three years, with his team and just waiting around when I pick him up from work, there are way more men than women. I may see a few when I go to pick him up but still not that many.

Twitter was our first stop on our first day and it was a total shock for me to see so many women there. We then went to IMO.im, I saw one woman there. On to Github and out of about 20 people again, only 2 women. That seemed more normal to me. Don’t get me wrong, it was good that so many women are in the Twitter office but I’m sure it can be said that the tech industry is dominated by males and wherever there is an abundance of women, one may be forced to do a double take or just simply be in shock. At the same time, as a woman, it was nice to see.

As much as I enjoyed the trip, I have say that the next time I go back with my husband, he is banned from tweeting, or sharing any status about being there. For those interested in meeting him or showing him around, please consider that his wife is with him and my face hurts after a while of pretending to be interested in any conversation about your projects. This trip was an exception. I encouraged him to see a few places and I wanted to see them as well since I heard so much about them. Sometimes my smile is genuine because I actually do know what is being discussed and I’m assuming you don’t think I do.

I will say I feel more inclined to take a class or two on programming so that I won’t be totally clueless with some jokes also just to get a kick out of seeing the look of shock on my husband’s face when I mention something he thinks I’m clueless about.

To document my visit/tours I got the following shirts and I intend to have some fun wearing them and have people guessing what I do for a living :).

I will have a followup post with pictures coming but I had to get this text part out while it was still fresh in my head :P. Hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

When Social Media Corrects Customer Service

When Social Media Corrects Customer Service

I was in New York last week and it was quite a week. However, this post isn’t about what I did but an experience I had with Twitter and the Hilton hotel. I’ve mentioned before how much of a pet peeve bad customer service is for me, and during that week, I got pissed enough to not only tweet about it, but to copy Hilton to my tweet – this is my experience with tweeting about poor customer service and the response I received.

We arrived in New York on a Tuesday afternoon. We got a taxi to our hotel in Westbury (which I was very grateful that I arrived in one piece without any whiplash from the fast driving and fierce breaking). When we arrived there, our check-in was not what I expected for a hotel carrying the Hilton name. We were simply given a sleeve with our room keys and that was it. No “have a good stay”, “the elevator is to your left and you are going to the second floor”, “if there is anything you need please feel free to call us”… nothing. Basically “piss off” but with no words. For me that was strike one. When my husbands family arrived a few hours later, they messaged us asking how the hotel is, and I made it clear that I was not impressed by the customer service so far but it’s not a bad hotel.

 The next day (Wednesday) we went down to breakfast and after we ate, the waiter was preparing our bill and my father-in-law pointed out that we had the breakfast package. The waiter then said we need to talk to front desk seeing that we didn’t provide any breakfast vouchers. Strike two. We went to front desk, where we were greeted with an attitude so stink I could only laugh in disbelief at this response.

Clerk: “You didn’t get a voucher? I know I filled them out yesterday and put them aside! I set up your keys (etc)”

Me: “Ok, I’ll go up to our room and check.” (came back down with sleeve and no vouchers)

Clerk: “I know I did those yesterday! *slaps desk, gets more slips and starts filling them out so quickly it almost looks like ink scratched across the paper*

Me:

 

 

 

 

We got our vouchers and were also told that they were for up to two people per room even though, for our room, we booked the breakfast package for three people in our room. I just had enough not to contest and figured things will work out.

We then decided we should probably rent a car for the week. There were seven of us and taxi fare for a week would be pretty ridiculous. So off to front desk I go again (just minutes after sorting the breakfast vouchers) to get numbers for  car rental companies. She was pretty ok with that and giving me pen and paper. I found one and after I put down the phone, I realized I forgot to ask their location. Can you believe she told me “the taxi driver should know that”. Really? I just had a enough of the looks and attitude, and figured that there can’t be many locations in this area so it should be fine. Error. We got into the taxi and the guy has attitude with us for not knowing the location of the car rental place but also that the receptionist assumed that he knew the location… again – Really!?

It was only day two and all of this action already?! What happened to friendly service? What happened to making me feel like I need to return to this hotel as well as give it 5 stars?

Day three was what really lead to the tweet. After a long day out, we were in our room relaxing when my sis-in-law started to smell something burning. After 10 minutes she called downstairs. She didn’t get a very friendly greeting and the clerk proceeded to ask her if she knew where the smell was coming from. WHAT!? Was he really asking us to investigate where a burning smell was coming from?! Uh, no! We won’t!! He said he’ll get someone to have a look and give us a call back. Another 10 minutes passed. This time I called. I was greeted with this:

“Uh yea, so are you still smelling it?”

“YES!”

“And you don’t know where it is coming from?”

“NO!”

“OK, I’ll give you a call back when we find out.”

Apparently this was the same clerk that checked us in so I shouldn’t be surprised but, I’m sorry, why does he think it is our job to find out where this smell is coming from? I could only answer with one word answers and it took everything in me to not give this man a piece of my mind. Another 10 minutes… My husband calls. AGAIN, no pleasant greeting, but they found out someone burned popcorn. By this time we were desperate for a little fresh air and my husband asked if there was any way to open the windows to get fresh air, we were advised to put on the A/C because they don’t open. I was simply amazed. After this, I tweeted the following:

Within a few minutes, I was followed by both Hilton and The Hilton Garden City Inn where I was staying. In the morning, I received a direct message asking for my confirmation number, and I happily gave it. Seeing that there were 3 rooms booked under this number I was asked for a first name and room number. Within 10 minutes of giving this information, I received a call from the general manager at the hotel saying she understands I’m not too pleased with the service I’ve been getting and she’d like to know what’s been going. on. I let her know everything. I did not hold back. She expressed that this is not what she expects from staff and she will address all of these issues with staff. I asked for her not to discuss it prior to our departure because from experience, some people are no longer genuine with you and are just pretending to make sure you are happy. I’d prefer to let the rest of the week play out and let her know in a follow up email how everything went. Other arrangements were made and I’d rather not disclose them, but I was very pleased with how she handled everything and she was exactly what I think of when I think of excellent customer service. Also, within 20 minutes, someone was knocking on our door with our new breakfast vouchers for three people. The rest of the week went without a hitch.

Social media now serves as a major outlet for unsatisfied customers to truly be heard and responded to by companies/corporations. If you happen to have a lot of followers/friends and put them on blast, and drive people away from them, that is not good for them. So most of the time, what are they left to do? Respond and make sure that you are given an opportunity to communicate with them personally or even compensated depending on how serious the issue is. I’ll be honest and say that I like having this forum. I definitely did not expect the response I got and whereas I would normally write off a business after a bad experience, I’m more willing to give them a second chance with the hopes of not experiencing bad customer service again.

What are your thoughts on social media as it relates to calling out companies on bad customer service?

xx

When Social Media Corrects Customer Service


I was in New York last week and it was quite a week. However, this post isn’t about what I did but an experience I had with Twitter and the Hilton hotel. I’ve mentioned before how much of a pet peeve bad customer service is for me, and during that week, I got pissed enough to not only tweet about it, but to copy Hilton to my tweet – this is my experience with tweeting about poor customer service and the response I received.

We arrived in New York on a Tuesday afternoon. We got a taxi to our hotel in Westbury (which I was very grateful that I arrived in one piece without any whiplash from the fast driving and fierce breaking). When we arrived there, our check-in was not what I expected for a hotel carrying the Hilton name. We were simply given a sleeve with our room keys and that was it. No “have a good stay”, “the elevator is to your left and you are going to the second floor”, “if there is anything you need please feel free to call us”… nothing. Basically “piss off” but with no words. For me that was strike one. When my husbands family arrived a few hours later, they messaged us asking how the hotel is, and I made it clear that I was not impressed by the customer service so far but it’s not a bad hotel.

The next day (Wednesday) we went down to breakfast and after we ate, the waiter was preparing our bill and my father-in-law pointed out that we had the breakfast package. The waiter then said we need to talk to front desk seeing that we didn’t provide any breakfast vouchers. Strike two. We went to front desk, where we were greeted with an attitude so stink I could only laugh in disbelief at this response.

Clerk: “You didn’t get a voucher? I know I filled them out yesterday and put them aside! I set up your keys (etc)”

Me: “Ok, I’ll go up to our room and check.” (came back down with sleeve and no vouchers)

Clerk: “I know I did those yesterday! *slaps desk, gets more slips and starts filling them out so quickly it almost looks like ink scratched across the paper*

Me:

 

 

 

 

We got our vouchers and were also told that they were for up to two people per room even though, for our room, we booked the breakfast package for three people in our room. I just had enough not to contest and figured things will work out.

We then decided we should probably rent a car for the week. There were seven of us and taxi fare for a week would be pretty ridiculous. So off to front desk I go again (just minutes after sorting the breakfast vouchers) to get numbers for car rental companies. She was pretty ok with that and giving me pen and paper. I found one and after I put down the phone, I realized I forgot to ask their location. Can you believe she told me “the taxi driver should know that”. Really? I just had a enough of the looks and attitude, and figured that there can’t be many locations in this area so it should be fine. Error. We got into the taxi and the guy has attitude with us for not knowing the location of the car rental place but also that the receptionist assumed that he knew the location… again – Really!?

It was only day two and all of this action already?! What happened to friendly service? What happened to making me feel like I need to return to this hotel as well as give it 5 stars?

Day three was what really lead to the tweet. After a long day out, we were in our room relaxing when my sis-in-law started to smell something burning. After 10 minutes she called downstairs. She didn’t get a very friendly greeting and the clerk proceeded to ask her if she knew where the smell was coming from. WHAT!? Was he really asking us to investigate where a burning smell was coming from?! Uh, no! We won’t!! He said he’ll get someone to have a look and give us a call back. Another 10 minutes passed. This time I called. I was greeted with this:

“Uh yea, so are you still smelling it?”

“YES!”

“And you don’t know where it is coming from?”

“NO!”

“OK, I’ll give you a call back when we find out.”

Apparently this was the same clerk that checked us in so I shouldn’t be surprised but, I’m sorry, why does he think it is our job to find out where this smell is coming from? I could only answer with one word answers and it took everything in me to not give this man a piece of my mind. Another 10 minutes… My husband calls. AGAIN, no pleasant greeting, but they found out someone burned popcorn. By this time we were desperate for a little fresh air and my husband asked if there was any way to open the windows to get fresh air, we were advised to put on the A/C because they don’t open. I was simply amazed. After this, I tweeted the following:

Within a few minutes, I was followed by both Hilton and The Hilton Garden City Inn where I was staying. In the morning, I received a direct message asking for my confirmation number, and I happily gave it. Seeing that there were 3 rooms booked under this number I was asked for a first name and room number. Within 10 minutes of giving this information, I received a call from the general manager at the hotel saying she understands I’m not too pleased with the service I’ve been getting and she’d like to know what’s been going. on. I let her know everything. I did not hold back. She expressed that this is not what she expects from staff and she will address all of these issues with staff. I asked for her not to discuss it prior to our departure because from experience, some people are no longer genuine with you and are just pretending to make sure you are happy. I’d prefer to let the rest of the week play out and let her know in a follow up email how everything went. Other arrangements were made and I’d rather not disclose them, but I was very pleased with how she handled everything and she was exactly what I think of when I think of excellent customer service. Also, within 20 minutes, someone was knocking on our door with our new breakfast vouchers for three people. The rest of the week went without a hitch.

Social media now serves as a major outlet for unsatisfied customers to truly be heard and responded to by companies/corporations. If you happen to have a lot of followers/friends and put them on blast, and drive people away from them, that is not good for them. So most of the time, what are they left to do? Respond and make sure that you are given an opportunity to communicate with them personally or even compensated depending on how serious the issue is. I’ll be honest and say that I like having this forum. I definitely did not expect the response I got and whereas I would normally write off a business after a bad experience, I’m more willing to give them a second chance with the hopes of not experiencing bad customer service again.

What are your thoughts on social media as it relates to calling out companies on bad customer service?

xx