In social customer land, blogs are going to be first. For a non-technical customer, it’s easy. Click “comment.” Speak. Repeat. It’s great to see some of the leaders out who are not only getting it, but doing it. Smaller companies (Clip-N-Seal, T-ShirtKing) that understand have been doing this for a while now.
Now, the challenge for Dowdell and Scoble will be to take it to the next level. Now that the forum is open with the customers, what is going to be done? And by when? Despite all their hassles over the last few months (oh geez, the colo is on fire!), Technorati has managed to navigate through adversity and challenges that directly affected customers, and has done it the right way. Let’s call it the “Sifry method” of dealing with customer issues:
1) Say what happened – State the case, tell what happened, explain what the situation was. Don’t BS, don’t make excuses. Just the facts.
2) Say what you’re going to do about it – The short term fix. How are you going to put out the fire. (Usually, this is a figure of speech.)
3) Plan for Murphy – Ok, the immediate crisis is over. What are you going to do to make sure this doesn’t happen again?
4) Report back – Let the customers know what’s going on. Was the short term fix applied? Are the long-term changes happening?
I’m chomping at the bit for the wiki and social networking tools to get easier to use from a customer point of view. They’re likely to be the next enablers, but they have to get to the point where the non-technical customer can intuitively understand what they can do to inject themselves into the process.