Listening to your customers … and responding (two short tales)

Good customer service through social media is not difficult, but it is definitely something that requires thought and attentiveness.

The story cited here is a real case study in what not to do in social media.  As the article points out, “A lot of loyal customers voicing their concerns on the site. Yet what’s glaringly absent are comments from J.C. Penney itself.  No one from the company is engaging with its followers.”  As a result of some very unfortunate choices, a fan base of 3 million supporters was wiped away.

No matter what size your company or project, you MUST listen to what your likers/followers/customers/supporters are saying. When they complain, you must respond diplomatically and promptly. If you disagree with what they are saying, you can still thank them for their feedback, and say you will look into their issue as part of your ongoing product/service review. That’s the social part of social media: a two-way conversation, a dialogue that builds loyalty based on (wait for the word) engagement.

Your customers are talking … are you listening? More importantly, are you engaging and responding? That, gentle readers, is absolutely key in social media.

Conversely, here is an example of customer response done well.  Recently, a young friend of mine was feeling frustrated about a telecomm supplier, and posted on Twitter, “I hate you Telus.” Within an hour, this happened:  telus large editedTo my mind, this is a social media customer service win. Someone at Telus was paying attention, and reacted promptly and politely. Maybe they couldn’t resolve the problem on the spot, but I give them major credit for jumping right in and offering support.

Dismiss 3 million followers in a few keystrokes, or take a real interest in your customers, one at a time?  Telus, for the win.

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Posted in All posts, Social Media for Beginners

More on tidying up your Facebook account

Just went through my facebook settings (because out of the blue it decided to ping me for EVERY notification), and discovered about 25 apps loitering on my account that I don’t recall installing.  Big cleanup: done.


Posted in All posts, Social Media for Beginners

Check your social media homepages!

Tip of the day:  when you log in to Facebook, take a quick look at your “recent activity” to check for anything odd.  I just noticed that I was “following” a couple of people I had never heard of, and deleted the follows right away.

Social media is great for so many things, but it isn’t perfect.  Keep an eye on your page, lest you run into problems with your online reputation.  Same goes for people tagging you in Twitter:  delete odd or spammy messages before your followers link to them or retweet them!

Posted in All posts, Social Media for Beginners

After a period, one space or two?

I’ll admit it. I tend to be a two-spacer.  I blame it on Mr. Wilson in Grade 9 typing (on those massive manual Olympia typewriters) and that grumpy old lady who taught Grade 10 Business Skills for Girls (aka how to be a secretary for a man). Even though I never really learned to properly touch-type (I looked at my fingers all the time, still do, but I am FAST as a result of a life lived online), some old habits die hard.  For me, it’s two spaces after a period.

Click here to see what SLATE Magazine has to say on the topic.

Posted in All posts, Thoughts on Writing

I love grammar!

I have been called pedantic on more than one occasion, but I believe language clarity matters when we are sharing stories, so I don’t mind the tag.  When I was in school, grammar was not taught in any formal manner, so I have I just picked it up along the way from thousands of hours of reading.

Here are some common grammar mistakes that can easily be avoided:

20  Common Grammar Mistakes

Posted in All posts, Thoughts on Writing

For Beginners: Online Privacy, within your control

As you get started in social media, you may have many questions or concerns about privacy, and about what information you want to share with the world. So many social media missteps can be avoided by just thinking before posting: “would I want this on national television?”  If you aren’t sure, don’t post!

Graphic illustration provided by Ellen Degeneres a few months ago:

(Tip: no one else will give you an iPad for this; think carefully before you post!)


Posted in All posts, Social Media for Beginners

Blogging: Cobblers and their ill-shod children

I recently attended a great workshop at Camp Tech on some important behind-the-scenes geeky stuff that social media folks need to know.  And as happens at any quality workshop, I came away with a LONG to-do list about how to improve my work, and how to help my clients more effectively with their communications.

First up:  must practice what I preach.  Blogs matter. They are a simple way to stay in touch with customers and clients, to share your expertise with the world, to humanize your business.  I haven’t been blogging for Your Story Here because I have been helping my clients with theirs (hence the mention of cobblers … do you know that reference?).  Shame on me. Time for some shoes right here.

So let’s begin.  As I regularly tell new clients,  the first blog is always the hardest, and  I am glad this particular one is taken care of. More to come, of course.  And I am always interested to hear what you have to say, and to answer questions, so please free to chime in at any time.

(photo credit @ Little Scandinavian, Primrose Hill London, sourced from Google Images. Credit where it is due. Always.)

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Posted in Blogging, Social Media for Beginners
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