I had an unhappy interaction with some new software yesterday, leading to a desperately written support e-mail, and a calm and pleasant response that turned it all around. (Thank you Mr. O at Tracker for being such a class act.)
In brief, I needed to convert some large Word reports stuffed with scintillating graphics into a PDF so the client's team could read them. Converting using the built in Word tools wasn't giving me the result I wanted. So I went searching for the paid tools over at Tracker.
Well... it's all in the graphic below
The bubbles show what happened from the customer point of view. The commentary to the right is my professional analysis. Look how complicated this simple set of events is! How quickly a promoter changed into a potential detractor (in Net Promoter Score speak).
When I upgraded, how would the internal company metrics look at that event? As a mistake in the first purchase? Probably not. Most metrics treat additional purchases as evidence of loyalty in some way. ("x% of customers go on to purchase a second product within x days ...")
When real helpfulness is rare, it should be measured
Where it gets interesting for me is the incredible response from support. Incredible because it is so rare. Incredible because this is a way to earn real loyalty. They can earn it through their product and their people.
I'm wondering if any organization has started recognizing (in an HR sense) earned media or social media. They should. When this post gets picked up by the company's social media tracking tools (surely they are tracking socmed?) what will happen?
One of the reasons I'm pondering this whole thing is that I've been invited to participate in Dell's Customer Support Think Tank event in Austin on June 25th. And this little incident will be one of the things I'll be thinking about, talking about and deconstructing.
You can find out more about social capital in a few places. Here are a couple that I found useful.
Social capital and winning back lost customers. Heavy going, but very interesting.