I was heading into London last week when I spotted this on Twitter:
I knew I would be passing by the Moleskine store in Covent Garden so I offered to take a look. That branch had sold out and the staff directed me to another outlet in Regents Street which was also close to where I was travelling. I headed off, and voila!
The notebook has been purchased and has since arrived at its destination. What did I learn?
If you don’t ask (preferably nicely – which Ed did), you don’t get, and…
it’s a pleasure to be of service.
I since found out that two other people offered help to Ed, even though he’s not (yet) met them in person. In the overall scheme of things – a story like this is tiny, and sometimes, small things make big differences.
‘Nope – I can’t help you with that, it’s not my job.’ How often have you heard that? I don’t even care that it might be true – ‘it’s not my job’ is a crappy and unhelfpul way to deflect an enquiry. It sucks when it happens between one employee and another and it goes off the scale when you are the customer. Too many brands think it’s an imperative to be social when it comes to broadcasting their message, and are apparently less keen when it comes to delivering service. Let me give you a current example:
At the beginning of this week I heard from Lisa-Mari about some problems she is experiencing with Sony, and specifically, a laptop that won’t stop misbehaving. Lisa Mari has tried to deal directly with Sony but after a series of blunders and failed promises, she contacted them via Facebook and Twitter. Here’s how the story starts on Facebook:
A very understanding opening from Lisa-Mari. She apologises for contacting Sony publicly and even says please when she asks for help. Then we move to:
As I type – there’s been no further follow up from Sony, despite a small bunch of people chivying them along on Twitter too. If your brand is online, then your job is customer services, end of story. And if you don’t get that I suggest you turn out the social lights, go home and let a more responsive company deal with your ex customers.
A little bump in the road threw me yesterday. Someone I respect suggested that part of what we do around here sounds….negative. Specifically, the ‘Stop Doing Dumb Things’ part. As a cyclist I’m used to the odd wobble and even the occasional crash! What to do when someone throws a stick in the spokes? I had some time to pause on my journey so I put a question out to Twitter.
Which do you prefer, ‘stop doing dumb things’ or ‘better engagement for better service’ – couple of folk saying the first is too negative?
The responses were rapid and very useful.
Hackofalltrades I really dig the 1st, but can see it could be off-putting to those who do dumb things to customers. But stands out a lot more. 2nd is more bland, but safer. What’s more important (to you): initial interest, or not ruffling feathers (at first)?
Martincouzins I like the first one – shorter, sharper, direct. I know exactly what it means. No 2 is more ambiguous IMHO. The positive sounds a bit mealy mouthed. Take point about negativity, but maybe those words work well for what you do?
Claireboyles Depends what you want it to achieve. For marketing purposes, getting your brand well known & talked about #1 wins hands down. And it’s apt, because it’s true, so many people doing so many dumb things, even if they don’t realise they are dumb things!
Changecontinuum Personally the first – loud and proud will always defeat mediocrity. #whatdoiknow What does your gut say? Have you read Simon Sinek on “why”?
Jasonlauritsen I like the first. That probably means it’s appealing to a narrow audience. 🙂
Sarahjsargent Dumb things is straight talking – 2nd one is a bit corporate speak
Theatreacle Late reply – things always better expressed in the positive – how about “start doing great things”….
Stirthesource the first. I have spoken about you and your work to many. They ADORE the name. PS – I have to stop and think about the 2nd. The first is instant and makes you smile/has you nodding in agreement. Genius! PPS – I talk about it in its full name too, so my vote would be to stay with that (i.e. continue to include ‘customers’)
All great stuff coming in from all directions. Then things took another turn.
Bridge101 (aka Bridget Greenwood) Better engagement for better service sounds like corporate speak. I have to run it through my brain more than once to get it… they say keep marketing lit to level of an 8 year old. They say people engage more with what not to do than with what to do. So: “Stop doing dumb things to Your customers Your people, and start…..*fill in the benefit….” Then I’d keep reading… creating a movement, stand out, be strong on your vision, don’t fluff, do shock – you want a movement right? Let passion show. This considered and passionate input was followed by a text message containing more useful insight. Yep, Bridget went to the trouble to find my number and text me, so I called her back and we had a great chat about marketing, about purpose, about a whole bunch of exciting things. And Bridget also pointed me towards Why? By Simon Sinek. I checked out this very interesting talk by Simon on TED and I’m happy to repost it here, it’s worth a look if you are interested in self-definition, in ‘what’s it all about’?
Later in the day I read this great blog post on HBR by Lucy P Marcus. It’s all about being connected and she cites Twitter as a great place to throw out a question and get great thinking back in return. Couldn’t agree more!
So the bump was hit, the wobble had, the why whyed and with some minor adjustments we’re back on track. Truth is it would have been easy for me to just ride on past this one, but sometimes it’s worth taking a break and checking in with folks, I think I’m all the better for it.
What has the world of social media helped you with lately? I’d love to learn even more.
PS – two final thoughts on this. Jason popped back to say ‘different is awesome!’ and the wonderful jrkuhns simply adds – ‘Unconferences rule!’ thanks guys.