Gone But Not Forgotten

Hello, you've landed on DATA eh? - Open Data Toronto's original blog space for data discussions. This is not an active blog at the moment but legacy posts are still here. Have a read ... you can still provide comments.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

You're only as good as your last bit of customer service - extrapolating from the Randy Bachman

NOTE: This is content from the web re:Brand posts going back to November 2010. We have kept the re:Brand posts as a legacy archive but, on a go forward basis as of October, 2011, the new DATA eh? content takes over this space.

I guess listening to music has triggered some extra thoughts in my head when it comes to material for this blog.  This time, I was listening to Randy Bachman (from his days in BTO) and the song "Rock Is My Life and This Is My Song".  The line that's stuck in my head is:

"you're only as good as your last record ..."

Got me thinking about the expectations and assumptions for responses via social media tools like twitter. Case in point, the 311 Office has been using twitter (@311Toronto) to provide a place for feedback about user experiences to the call line. Reading the twitter feed demonstrates how valuable an outlet this is.  But it occurs to me how challenging it is to satisfy everyone and, to paraphrase the Randy, maybe "you're only as good as you're last bit of customer service". Would you agree? Can one bad experience destroy the goodwill of many good experiences?

It's something we talk about when staff ask our team about using social media tools.  (Part of our role is to evangelize social media use at the City.) When the talk turns to resourcing a twitter (or other) account, some prospective users are surprised when we say they will need to devote regular (perhaps daily, hourly or more) attention to it. It all depends on what you are trying to do.  @311Toronto is way busier than @TOWebRebrand for example (he says as he inserts shameless plug for the web re:Brand twitter feed).

Honest effort
I've heard a number of SM gurus say, at the very least, you must always be demonstrating to customers that you are trying.  Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) speaking at DemoCamp24 in Toronto, was asked about his take on this issue relating to scale.  The question was framed as "the bigger you are (more volume of messages) the harder  it is to respond immediately, so what do you do?" Vaynerchuk said he used to answer every e-mail he received immediately. Now that he has become extremely well known, the scale has magnified to the point where he has had to start using an auto response tool.  But, and he states this emphatically, he still responds to every e-mail he gets. He maintains that part of his reputation albeit with a delay.

Note, his twitter page says he "never checks DMs". That's cool, I now know I can't expect an answer if I send him one. With some 847,829 followers - clearly the dude is doing something right!

Is Gary's challenge the same, worse or better than ours? Let me know how much slack you give a city government over an individual.I'm really interested in what you have to say regarding your expectations.

Here's the "full Gary" from DemoCamp24 for those who want to hear more of his perspective (alert Gary uses profanities).

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