Christopher Carfi from Cerado Inc., writing for the Always On Network posted an article titled The Social Customer Manifesto, which is good and is worth a read. He prefaces it with: “Social media, including blogs, wikis, and social networks, are fundamentally changing what it means to be a ‘customer.’ Customers are pissed off. And they’re not gonna take it anymore.”
A great example of this is the minor firestorm that has erupted over on Boris Mann’s blog where he made a comment on zip.ca, the postal-mail-based DVD rental company here in Canada that can’t seem to get its act together. A disgruntled customer found the blog posting (you’ve gotta love blog visibility on Google)…and then so did a whole bunch more. At last count, he had had 37 comments and over 1000 page views. Most of the commenters were disgruntled users of the service, many of whom are experiencing the identical issues – lost DVDs, inability to contact customer service, and inappropriate charges on their accounts. One of the hapless zip.ca employees identified only as Meredith offered up an email address, thereby probably exacerbating the situation. All of these people want an answer, they want it publicly and plainly spoken, and they want it now. They want Open Customer Service. They no longer want to each have a conversation with the company where the service may vary depending upon the vociferousness of the complainant and the willingness of the customer service rep to make them go away. They want an apology, a statement of what is wrong, and what the company is going to do to fix it. And they all want to hear it at the same time.
Here is a link to my Technology Buyer’s Manifesto that is similar in nature to what Christopher has written.
UPDATE 1: Roland Tanglao has kindly provided a link to an article he wrote on how companies can and should be tracking their online reputation using tools such as PubSub. You can find that article here. Thanks Roland!