Much ado has been made of the presence of Bloggers at the Democratic National Convention (which didn’t paralyze the city nearly as much as anticipated, incidentally, mostly because everyone left), and rightly so, but ignored is the potential for a new way of delivering customer service.
Case in point: having just completed the migration to our new Blogging system, I went to claim my new Blog on Technorati. Only problem was, I forgot my password. So I naturally went to the password reset function and tried it once, twice, three times. This was last Thursday. Still no email. So last night I was just about to either call it off entirely or create a duplicate profile, when I decided to check around for some Blogs. Sure enough, there were quite a few commenting on the situation. They’re here, here, and here. Doc Searls also had a follow up on the first link here.
So while it was a bit comforting to see that my situation was hardly unique, that didn’t really help fix the situation. But through the first link I was able to find Dave Sifry’s (CEO of Technorati) blog, and he was actually talking about the issues they were experiencing here. The blog also had an email attached to it, which I sent to.
Arriving at work this morning, I was pleasantly surprised to see a personal response from Dave, apologizing for any issues and promising that it’ll get looked at, and inviting me to follow up if it was not addressed.
The are a few lessons here as far as I’m concerned:
- Blogs can provide some of the same user helping user benefits that forums can
- Blogs can put a personal face on technical issues. They happen to everyone eventually, what frustrates users the most is not having any information. Blogs can provide that information.
- Blogs can assist in creating transparency. This can be good and bad; it was certainly good in this case, as I got a better idea of what was behind some of the issues, but the folks behind Movable Type got hammered on their own blog after announcing a price change. But even the bad can be turned to good, if the feedback is evaluated and internalized. Better to hear about their unhappiness than simply lose customers.
The net of all of this? It’s given me a lot of ideas on how we can tap the Blog infrastructure for our own customer service needs. It’s not a replacement for other channels of course, but it’s tough to beat for open and transparent communication.