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Archive for October, 2012

  • Connect

Amazing shots of the big boat…

Great to see ETNZ’s big boat performing like this. Look closely, two hulls out of the water – up on its wings. Woohoo!

  • Connect

Social Care

Great insight: Based on findings from NM Incite’s newly released State of Social Customer Service Report, nearly half of all social media users (47%) use social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to reach out to a brand or company with a question or issue.

  • 47% of all social media users have used social care, with usage as high as 59% among 18-24 year
  • 71% of those who experience positive social care are likely to recommend that brand to others
  • Nearly 1 in 3 social media users prefer to reach out to a brand for customer service through a social channel rather than by phone

  • Loved

Wallets & The Changes At Apple

While much of the coverage on Org changes at Apple has focused on collaboration in the Executive ranks, some of the more interesting has focused on the design battle. Ive now leads the lot and IMHO that is a good thing.

I’ve never got the bookshelf metaphor in Newstand or iBooks. Or the faux leather in iCal. This design approach is, get this, called skeuomorphism. Fast Company said it well:

“It’s visual masturbation,” says one former senior UI designer at Apple who worked closely with Steve Jobs. “It’s like the designers are flexing their muscles to show you how good of a visual rendering they can do of a physical object. Who cares?”

It begs the question, should the wallet be replicated on the phone as a wallet? Or is the literal interpretation just confusing?

“I’ve come to absolutely dislike this trend in user interface toward skeuomorphism,” says designer Yves Béhar, the founder of fuseproject, which is best known for designing the Jawbone and original One Laptop Per Child PC. “Using reality as a visual metaphor for the user interface rather than make the UI function on its own terms is something that has irked me for quite a while.”

I’m with Behar, it’s time for the UI to function on its own terms. Put the wallets away.

  • Connect

Tablet Launches New Mag

Have always liked Tablet – terrific travel site and the recommendations are invaluable. Love the look of their new magazine

  • Learned

Social Hand-offs a Must

Too often social media teams are an island. They sit as the advance guard under comms departments, digital teams and in marketing. But how do they hand-off to the rest of the business.

My recent experiences with Air New Zealand illustrate how important this is. I’ll spare you the service angst they’ve caused me over the past week but lets say it was enough to illicit a Tweet or two. Their social team clearly picked the tweet up and responded giving me an email to communicate with them – which I promptly did. Then silence for four days. (I’m guessing that had something to do with a long holiday weekend in NZ). Frustrated by this, I tweeted again. That quickly resulted in a call from a nice chap who, having not read my tweets or email, listened intently to my frustrations before indicating that, having taken all this on board, would send me a letter.

Now, I’m not sure the last time I got a letter so that’s something to look forward to. Although I’m not actually sure where the key to the letterbox is either.

In this are some lessons:
1. track those hashtags and respond to customers – Air NZ did OK on this front.
2. give the customer a way to reach you and take the conversation offline – OK on this one as well
3. respond to complaint and close, preferably that day – fail
4. if passing the complaint on, pass on all customer comms – fail
5. communicate through the customer’s preferred channel – fail
6. do all of this 24×7 or close to it – fail

I’ve had the opportunity to see many social teams now and most run into difficulty because they are under-resourced and lack systems. A platform like Salesforce and RightNow would have enabled Air NZ to pass off the customer complaint, apply a “sundown” rule for resolution, and ultimately increase customer satisfaction. The smarter social teams have put the response capability in their call centers where they have both systems and scale.

No matter how good your marketing your brand, you will ultimately be judged by how you made customers feel. Each negative customer experience is a chance to turn that not just to a positive, but to a positive +1.

There are lots of lessons here for teams looking to improve customer satisfaction through social media monitoring and response. Perhaps the most important is getting the hand-off right.

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