Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More of This To Come 

This is painful. It appears to be a call to Verizon, the phone company, to straighten out a bill. The call goes on and on and gets hung up on simple math. Naturally, Verizon's customer service reps come off poorly.

Since the beginning of the internet, customers could complain online, and millions have. The idea of posting one's actual experience with customer service is newer.

There is a lesson here from a PR perspective. More customers will get even with companies by using YouTube or similar sites to post live experiences. I wish I had done the same myself with technology companies I've dealt with. (Try installing a WiFi upgrade without muttering.)

PR starts at the customer contact point of any organization. If that point is failing, the company is failing in public relations. All the press releases in a practitioner's kitbag cannot make up for a lousy customer experience.

Look for similar postings such as a dumb retail clerk, a weasel mechanic, a sleazy lawyer, etc. These kinds of things used to be reserved for investigative reporters with hidden cameras. No longer. It's one more worry for companies to think about.

Jim, you're dead on with this post. It's the democratization of the business world... everybody has a voice. Fortunately with all of the negative comments that can be made, lots of positive comments can be made about when a company (or politician, or friend, or whomever) does something good, and additionally, smart companies will integrate blogs to openly talk about their ups and downs in response to consumer comments. Should be interesting to see how things go from here!

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