Archive for February 12, 2013

Do Your Silos Work Together?






Recently I spoke to two major brands regarding customer experience measurement. One was a well known fast food chain of franchises and the other was a major retailer.  Our conversation flowed towards the obvious- social media. Both companies utilized best in class  monitoring software (Radian 6 to be specific ) and had an internal team of two full time employees who were in charge of mining the data and producing reports that revealed a wealth of information about each brand and their competitors.


They are on the right track I thought. Up to recently, many brands did not feel it important to listen to what people were discussing about them online. However, most recently things have started to change. Market researchers are now finding value in “Social Research” and adding this service to their portfolio. Companies like the ones mentioned here actually have an internal department who keeps their finger on the pulse 24/7. Smart? Well, maybe.


So what’s the problem you ask? Well in my experience many times there is no marriage of the data so to speak. Because most companies have decided this function belongs to the marketing department. Marketing is collecting the data and analyzing it but it stays there. In the marketing silo. Next you have the operations silo- they are responsible for the district manager audits, the mystery shopping program, interacting with employees, etc.. Customer Loyalty (if there is one) is in charge of the loyalty program and analyzing that data to further the program. Perhaps we can throw in customer feedback in the mix as well.


I could go on but you get the idea. Imagine if all the silos worked together for the benefit of the company and it’s customers. Leveraging internal customer satisfaction data and knowledge would give any company a competitive advantage in my opinion.


How does your company handle this issue? Please share your thoughts with us.

Take Every Interaction Seriously – You Never Know Who You’re Talking To


If you’re looking for some light-hearted reading fun, especially if you’re a parent, you’ll want to check out The Honest Toddler. Whoever the creator is, they have developed a Facebook page, Twitter feed, and a blog, all with content from the eyes of a somewhat cynical toddler. As a parent myself, some of the posts are quite amusing, and I’ve been fascinated with it simply because of its following – it’s not a brand or company, or someone trying to sell something, yet the following “the toddler” has is staggering and increases daily. Just goes to show people need some fun in their (online) lives.


The other day I watched in amusement as The Toddler had issues with the blog he/she runs, and turned to GoDaddy’s online chat for help. In true form, the conversation unfolded in a way that is anticipated from a highly gifted toddler if one were actually in need of website assistance. Below are some of the screenshots:


Status update: Trying to fix my site. My chat with Godaddy is going nowhere and they are being very belligerent.




Status update: i feel like Brian W. isn’t listening.



Status update: why is he rushing me?




To add insult to poor Brian W’s public debut, it looks like The Toddler tried the chat again, this time with a different GoDaddy representative, which went much smoother:


Status update: Like most adults, Brian W. had a hard time admitting he didn’t know what he was talking about. Spend the last few hours with Jiri who just ripped up and put back together this server like it was a piece of American cheese. 

Jiri, you give terrible advice and struggle with intimacy but you fixed what 8 other people in your company couldn’t so you’re OK. You’re OK.




While my heart went out to Brian W, as I’m sure he wondered if he was being pranked, he did do a pretty good job of sticking with his spiel as though it was a real customer. It’s a tough place to be in, but as the title of this post suggests, you have to take every interaction seriously because you just never know who you’re really talking to.

While it was humorous and kept me amused that evening, there was a turn of events that made me take note. As I mentioned, The Toddler has a huge following – of course there was significant conversation surrounding these status updates. Again, I felt for Brian W because he probably didn’t realize his interaction would be made public.


In the sea of comments that night, I noticed that GoDaddy became aware of the situation and joined the conversation:




While we all know this is an actual customer, and not just a toddler gone mad, it was likely very difficult to tell that from an online chat. However, the representatives stuck with it and ultimately assisted their customer.


Kudos out to them, and a huge Kudos to GoDaddy for taking note of what was going viral online and attempting to resolve the issue publicly. It not only shows that you’re staying on top of online conversations, but that you are invested in ensuring customer satisfaction to all customers, even when they appear to be Toddlers trying to give representatives a hard time.


Customer service is vital, and everything should be taken seriously – you just never know where it might end up. Had Brian W or Jiri taken a different course or attitude with this customer, it could have ended very differently.