Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Social media customer service: Reward compliments, not complaints

Here's a thought for retailers and businesses of all kinds engaging in social media. A conventionally successful strategy is to respond promptly to customer complaints on Twitter and Facebook, to be seen publicly to be giving good customer service.

However, by doing this aren't we also rewarding negative behaviour? If a hundred friends see that a customer's complaint has been dealt with successfully, yes, they might raise their opinion of your business; but they might also actually be encouraged to complain more in the future, figuring that any loud whining - legitimate or not - is rewarded with better service or even valued compensation.

Maybe we should be rewarding customers who spread good news about your business, not bad. By all means continue dealing with genuine complaints well, but by also thanking customers who talk about good products or report a pleasurable transaction, you invoke a win-win situation; not only do you get a good review, but positive publicity as well.

I am thinking about taking this to the logical conclusion. A customer who complains loudly about a problem will get their issue fixed quickly and fairly; no more, no less. But a customer who raves positively and publicly about your business will be rewarded with bonus goods or services. This is advertising that you cannot simply buy. Not only is it cheap, it squarely reaches your target market, and is (ideally) seen as an honest and trustworthy recommendation.

Or is this bordering on the devious? Businesses have been caught before bribing prominent bloggers with goods or services in return for a good review; is this reward strategy as bad? I think it would be more open and morally legitimate, but let me know in the comments what you think.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

HP Keyboards - for touch typists only

We got a new HP wireless keyboard from Misco today - English UK layout, or so we thought.

Very user friendly, HP.

Our favourite part is the Quality Control Passed sticker on the back.

After a small amount of modification, it is now a custom-made keyboard for YouTube commentards.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Dear Lockheed Martin (UK Census 2011 response)

Dear Lockheed Martin,

Please find attached my returned Census form. You will note that I have not filled in any personal details about myself or anybody who may or may not be in my household. This is because I object to handing my personal details to an arms manufacturer. I hold this funny little opinion that a business who profits from death and war is not one that I choose to trust.

However, I do understand that you are spending a great deal of my* taxpayer's money on processing this census, and would hate to see this completely wasted, so I have filled out the form with the details of my cat. I do not believe that public knowledge of her personal details could put her or her family at any particular risk, so you are free to absorb, process, publish and/or abuse this information at your leisure.

Kind regards and best of luck with the ripe developing market in North Africa.

The Occupier
[address redacted]

* Aha, that is if I pay tax... you nearly had me there.

Cat Census 1
Cat Census 2
Cat Census 3

Sent 9 March 2011. If I exchange further correspondence with Lockheed Martin or the Census, I will post it here.

Fans of Shiva can also see how well she dealt with my antagonistic correspondence with PayPal.