Wednesday, December 01, 2010

gimmix! part 3

We all surely agree that brand experience is the sum total of all interactions, those interactions can take place on many platforms and channels.

Doddsy last week berated an unnamed Creative Director for declaring Twitter to be a great customer service tool.

Instead he suggests that '..[twitter] can be a great customer mood monitor, it can be a great way to field customer complaints, but that's not what we should understand as customer service.'

'Customer service is what happens throughout your contact with the customer. If you do it right, you shouldn't need to have a Twitter presence because your customers will be happy.'

I noticed this prophecy manifesting itself perfectly for poor old Quantas, quite reasonably criticised by Chris Lake of Econsultancy for putting the cart before the horse.

Service enquiries submitted to the Quantas website are met with an auto response which offers only to 'endeavor to respond within 25 business days'. From a no-reply email account, to boot.

That's endeavor to respond. So it might not even happen.

That's fairly shabby by anyone's standards but it's further compounded when we discover this.

The lag (the aforementioned cart) in responding to actual customers, and solving actual customer problems in anything approaching real-time, appears to be hampered by the Twitter department being so busy cooking up gimmicky twitter promotions to reward non-customers with free trips to the Ashes cricket match.

Within 48hrs of a hashtag - #getashestotheashes - appearing around a twitter user with no cricket affinity called @theashes, who claimed annoyance at cricket related tweets aimed in their direction, Quantas PR had booked them up with free flights to Oz from New York.

There's clearly something broken when a basic customer service cannot even be guaranteed within a sensible timescale yet a opportunist twitter stunt can be turned around in 48 hours.

A classic, and all too common, case of the clamour for shiny objects leading only to social media confusion.

Add to that; the left hand not knowing what the right hand is tweeting, and it bears the hallmarks of a hapless brand, desperate to play, but not getting the basic things right first.

Must do better.

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