What does it look like when an entrepreneur doesn’t practice what they preach? Stay tuned for a story of literary frustration, online confusion and broken promises.
This is the Customer Experience Storytime Tale of… The Anti-Social Socialite
Working in social media and customer experience… it’s exhausting.
Continually looking for new books to read, articles to consume and podcasts to fill your brain to keep up with the latest trends, features and news.
This was a problem Kyle consumed himself with for years, in the process he was recommend a new book that promised to help him, and I quote “harness the power of social media.”
He had heard of this book in some blog before. He couldn’t remember which. But now a good friend had recommended it and all its 200 plus pages. Checking it out on Amazon, the book assured Kyle that he would learn how to…
- use new social technologies
- make himself heard.
- produce better products and services.
Specifically providing a social assessment for leaders, managers and employees to scientifically evaluate your individual social skills and competencies.
We’ll just say that in the introduction, Kyle came across the words “social” more than his fair share.
Kyle was on board! He bought the book and dug in.
The content was pretty good, he pulled a few tips and tricks and was excited to take it to the next level when the book invited him to download further content from their website. He could take a test and it would tell him how good or horrible he was on social media. Score! Added value!
So he went to the suggested link on the book’s page to take the test.
The test… wasn’t there. He clicked, he scanned, and scrolled but it was no where to be found. How was he suppose to know his social strengths and weaknesses if he couldn’t take the test?
The rise levels off where there a climax against the goal. A challenge to overcome. Kyle was the ambitious type and felt that there had to be a way around this road block.
First, he Googled.
It had to be somewhere right? Maybe it was on an unlinked page that could be found with a simple search. No dice. There were lots of references to this test, mostly in reviews of the book, but not a chance of finding it.
Second, he Twittered. Kyle reached out on Twitter to the company that apparently hosted the test for the book. NO response. At all.
He Twittered again, this time to the author of the book. Again no response. The irony of a book on being more social had very anti-social businesses and authors behind it wasn’t lost on Kyle.
So, a few weeks later, and now with a passionate commitment to get something/anything from this so-called social product, he decided to try Twitter one more time. Maybe he caught them at a bad time? Maybe their phone had fallen in water? Maybe they forgot the password to their Twitter account? Kyle had all the excuses to explain their silence.
So he shouldn’t have been surprised when his new attempt didn’t end any different.
There’s a success or failure and finally denouement/resolution and then the end.
He moved to his third channel: Facebook. To be honest, by now Kyle’s expectations were quite low, not only because of his experiences to date but also the fact the page hadn’t been active for almost 2 years. He did wonder why he hadn’t tried this platform before but he was resigned to try it now.
However, surprise! This time things were indeed different.
“I’m currently reading your book but notice it’s heavily encourage to take this test. Unfortunately, the link in the book doesn’t go to the test and I’ve been unable to find it online. Lots of references, but no link. Any direction would be greatly appreciated. Thanks”
In a few short hours… a response appeared.
They confirmed indeed the link had been taken down, did so by misspelling Kyle’s name, thanked him for his feed back and said they were going to get the link reposted.
Kyle waited. And he waited. Weeks passed. Kyle continued waiting. NO link was ever posted. Nor was any more communication provided. No follow up, no nothing.
The quest for the missing link was anything but a social experience.
And that’s the story of the Anti-Social Socialite
Friend Filter aka How is this Perceived by the Customer?
Now, the customer experience is an emotional experience. Let’s look at this as how this could break a customer relationship.
How would this experience be perceived?
I have your money, why should I care about you? It seems a bit harsh but that’s exactly how Kyle felt. He had bought a book, a good book of great information, he will admit, but the promise of added value and a deeper dive was broken and never delivered. Add the less than impressive effort to engage with him and this experience leaves Kyle with a tainted perception of the author and the information he provides.
What Worked or Could be Done Better
What Can We Learn From this Story
- Engage with your customers – If you have a social platform, you are making a promise to your customers that you are accessible and engaging. By not responding to them, either in a timely fashion or at all, you’re breaking that promise. Make sure you do.
- Understand the timeless experience – The book was written a couple of years before this story took place. Even if it’s well passed your launch date and the early adoption of your product, understand that customers move at their own pace and may discover you far afterwards. Make sure you are still delivering the experience you promise.
- Deliver what you promise – Notice “promise” is a reoccurring theme? When the author offered to repost the link, it would have been more helpful if they had just sent the survey directly. Solve the problem right away. Your customer will appreciate it even after a negative experience to date.
Morale of the Story
Practice what you preach.
Though the information from the book was solid, the fact that the author and supporting company were the opposite of what they sold really hurt their brand.
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