Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fast Response 

Give Sony credit for fast response to an online uproar. One wonders how the company decided in the first place to charge for removal of software one doesn't want. However, it saw quickly its error and corrected it. Sony demonstrates how closely companies watch the internet.

There is a trusim about internet response one should keep in my mind. Unhappy people speak first. The internet has an inherent bias to negativity. So, while a company's customer surveys might show positive results for its products and services, it can still be bashed relentlessly on the internet. It doesn't take many people to create an atmosphere and perception of failure. Hence, companies move quickly to stop complaints before they get out of control.

There may still be companies that track complaints to their 800 numbers but ignore what is said about them on the internet. We saw this as recently as two or three years ago. We hope such firms are few in number today. Companies should not get rid of customer service numbers, but should recognize that 800 systems are insufficient. They need to monitor online forums, blogs and web pages to know what is really being said about them. Of course, this is obvious, but it wasn't so clear not long ago. If there is one failing in marketing departments, it is an inability to keep up with the speed of the internet.


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