Posts Tagged ‘customer service’

When the whale washes up on the beach…

November 5, 2015

The last few weeks it has been raining negative messages around Twitter.  But what if the Twitter whale really washed up on the beach what would the consequences?

twitter whale

Loss of employment

The first group of people impacted are those companies that make tools to slice and dice Twitter.  There will be a lot of blood flowing on the floor.  From monitoring platforms to posting platform and tools of all other kinds.  I see you thinking: “It is only startups and who cares? But it is not only a large number of startups that would go out of business overnight but also some of the big players would get hurt and have to let go of people.  Not to mention companies using these tools.


OMG! The Klout score could really disappear for real.

Companies and Organizations

Twitter has been the tool that many companies have used to provide customer service and/or get close to the r customers.  All of a sudden they would lose their eyes and ears on their community,  Back to phone canvassing or trying to move the communities to one of the remaining platforms.  Let’s be honest, you don’t want the twitter type conversations on LinkedIn or even Facebook as a company.

Twitter users

people tweetingAnd how about the users of Twitter.  They would have so much time on their hands.  No more checking their influencers (an retweeting or pressing like), no more content curation, no more personal branding tweets to be sent, no more customer service complaints, etc. just to name a few.  What would they do with all this regained time?

Let’s be real, Twitter washing up on the beach would mean that we are left with only 2 real networks.  Google+ has been catching rays on the beach for a while now.  Would Tweeps really move to LinkedIn and/or Facebook with their content and messages?

What a nightmare that would be for both the platforms, companies and users.  I can’t image what messages on LinkedIn will look like or how the amount of spam in LinkedIn groups will spiral as the (professional) influencers from Twitter flock to LinkedIn.  What if more people started to complain about company services  and products on Facebook (or LinkedIn for that matter)…  Could customer service really move to Facebook? I guess Not!


twoogleThe long and short is that Twitter is likely not to disappear, so stop whining and spreading negative news.  I kind of want to  come back to my predictions for 2015 in the sense that if Google with Google+ (They have the users) and Twitter (they have the content) should team up (Twoogle?) they can be a counterweight to the two protagonists.  I wonder…


SM Monitoring: are you REALLY listening?

May 30, 2010

Over the course of the last weeks I have been talking to, presenting to and listening to a large number of people on social media.  If we consider that social media is about creating content, sharing content and interaction about the content, I can safely assume that the last part requires listening which is minimized by a lot of people and companies.  So if you are not listening, you how can you interact.

I want to address 3 things in this post:

  1. What is monitoring
  2. Real life examples (mine)
  3. Conclusions

If after reading this post you are ready to challenge me, then I look forward to having a constructive discussion.

1. Monitoring

Allow me first to try and define what I mean by “listening” or monitoring as I understand it (and yes, please correct me if I have missed something)

  1. The most recognized form of monitoring is company/brand monitoring.  This falls in the realm of the marketers but a large number struggle how to implement this but at least the awareness is there.
  2. Website monitoring is done by IT.  From this practice stands the action of blocking certain websites such as porn site, but also Facebook, Twitter and/or YouTube.  But what about networking sites such as Netlog,  BEBO, Hi5 or even Hyves.  BTW did you block Chatroulette, 4chan, certain blogs and the like?

I have 2 pieces of bad news.   The first, though this might seems very pragmatic and successful approach on the surface, I hate to disappoint IT and HR people as many employees are switching to devices such as smart phones to update their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Secondly, there are new social media platforms popping up every day and how do you keep track of which ones to block?  Oh yes, when you hear about it in the news… unfortunately, it might be one of your employees getting into the limelight.

3. Outward employees social media monitoring consisting of who of your employees is on social media and what are they saying (about your company, your clients, your partners, your competition or even themselves (in their job)).  This is not only touching many nerves, it is a taboo!

2. Personal examples

That people and companies (in Belgium certainly) are not listening, I would like to demonstrate with 2 personal examples.

First, when I tried to switch from one type of subscription to another within the SAME telecom operator it took 7 days!  I was in their store everyday but posted messages and Twitter and Facebook.  Even wrote an email to their marketing department (I got an answer back 10 days after the problem was solved – BTW the guy did not even take the time to see what my first name was and assumed it was an abbreviation for a female’s name).  Not ONE reaction!  Great opportunity for bashing and bad for customer satisfaction.

Secondly, I took part in a webinar about social media.  It focused for 60% on Twitter alone as what social media is.  I decided to voice my comment and sent a tweet with the fact I was very disappointed about the content.  A great opportunity to engage with a client I thought.  I guess not, since the reaction was: an invite to join their LinkedIn group.   So the listening skills are not there.

But it is not all bad.  I am having problems with my Gowalla account.  I sent a tweet into the world asking for help from anyone who could help me and yes, Gowalla is listening (and hopefully solving my problem).

3. Some conclusions

I have also taken some time to review some monitoring tools.  There is whole list of tools ( – Ken Burbary).   There are some free tools which do a fair job but if you need more there are the paying software subscriptions (mainly targeted at marketers for brand monitoring).  I have signed up for freemium accounts and gotten demonstration of the different platforms.

One concern I want to voice is that all demos are given on the basis of brands such as Audi, Lexus, Coca-Cola, etc.  where there are thousands on conversations taking place every day/week.  So if you miss one there is no big problem.  Looking at where the rubber hits the road, when you talk about small to medium-sized business (in a country like Belgium which is the size of a handkerchief) the number of posts is very small to none existent.  Caution is required.

My other conclusions are today the following:

  • There is not ONE tool that gives you all the answers.
  • Free tools are delivering some good results but you need to do a lot of work after it.
  • Paying platforms deliver a whole range of reports and nicely arranged graphs, data charts etc.
  • Paying platforms seem to be missing social media platforms (LinkedIn being the major one missing or badly covered).

4. Ready to challenge me?

All reactions and comments are welcome.  If you have good or bad examples of social media monitoring feel free to share them with me.  Feel free to challenge me.  My email is

“Oops, I did it again” – Mobistar

April 20, 2010

Earlier this month, I have shared with you my tribulations with my activation of my subscription at Mobistar.  After 8 days I was up and running.  I had ranted, I had raved, and I had even complained to top of the marketing department about my struggles –  my frustration was vented.  I thought my fun was over, till today…

I got a mail from a high-up-the-chain marketing person.  The fun began with the first 2 words: “Dear MS” with the assumption that MIC (my official first name) was the abbreviation for Michaela (and this really the text in the mail).  This makes me wonder about the CRM systems at Mobistar… My invoices do say MR…  I had mentioned that I am using social media and I guess looking there who the client was is not an option either.

The mail went on to apologize for the late answer – the person was 10 days on holiday – which makes me wonder since mobistar is the premier supplier of smart phones and is currently aggressively promoting the use of the internet from a mobile platform… But I respect the fact that when you are on vacation you do not answer your mails.  But “Eat your own dog food” thought does come to mind in this connected world.

The mail went on to say that he was willing to help me solve the problem which I find great for 2 reasons: I got a response on my mail and was offered help.   So at least some one at Mobistar gets back to clients.  But it saddens me to see that mobistar who strives to be a leader in new technology is using it so poorly (no twitter monitoring, the mobistar twitter id has been taken by a private person, no facebook, barely any linkedin activity, lot’s of Youtube videos but none posted by mobistar itself,…)

I one sentence: “Poor social media strategy and no social media policy in place – dangers are lurking just around the corner”.

When customer service matters… or not?

April 2, 2010

I am going through a period of changes. As one chapter of my professional life is ending, a new one is opening and this the time when customer service can shine… or not. Here are some illustrations.

In my previous life, I was a corporate account user for the mobile company, Mobistar. On the first day of not being a corporate account user, I get an SMS saying that I now am a pre-paid user with ZERO credit which is okay. However, now being a small business owner I immediately want to buy a subscription for mobile phoning and internet. I go to their own store and want to get a subscription (I am BUYER who needs no convincing!) and I am told they cannot get to my account since it is still a corporate account! It will take 48 hours for their servers to be updated while my phone subscription was changed in less than 12h! And by the way, once they can change it I will be locked in for 2 years! As a business owner on the road, this is disastrous since I have no access to my mail and cannot really call my clients and prospects. Outrageous! I think it is easier to switch mobile companies. So Mobistar, you have just flunked the customer service exam!

I was also owner of an hospitalization insurance with AXA via my ex-employer. That contract stopped the day I left. Can you imagine they are not contacting me to even ask if I want to continue my policy on a personal basis! I have to contact them myself if I want to give them my business! Guess not… So Axa, you are no longer on my shopping list (for any insurance).

On a positive note, when I returned my company car, the inspection went fast, polite and professional. They even offered, without asking, to bring me back to the train station! That is what I call thumbs up for Carroserie Européen. Or what customer service should look like.

I recently flew back from Chicago to Brussels on American Airlines. Just before we left – we were already on the plane – they discovered a fuel leak on the plane and the flight was delayed till a new plan could be found. A few hours later we did leave and I can tell you the customer service provided by the flight attendants and the free drinks were just a great sign of how customer service should work. Well done American Airlines!

I know I am ranting and raving but when it comes to customer service you need to treat everyone special even ME!

PS: BTW I am going to use this message to see who is listening via social networks to their customers – so Mobistar or Axa, if your are out there listening feel free to correct your bad record