Marketing Meltdown

The following story has been all over the airwaves in December. Customer named Dave orders the Avenger game controller. The manufacturer is N-Control. They seemed to have contracted out customer service to Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing. Paul goes back and forth in email with Dave explaining the delay. Things get a bit ugly in the correspondance.

Dave forwards the emails to game sites. This includes Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade. Initially Mike was emailing under the name Gabe. Later he states his real name, that he runs Penny Arcade, and hosts the PAX conference. Christoforo gets into it with Krahulik. After Krauhulik posts the email history to the Penny Arcade web site, the mobs come out to roast crucify Christoforo.

Personally I found Christoforo's put downs very funny. This guy obviously has no place doing customer support. I think one moral from the story is that you should be humble and admit your mistake when you get busted by a superpower like the founder of Penny Arcade. Otherwise you will be dealing with damage control for months on end. I got a lot more to say about this. I will try to blog about this in the upcoming days.

The Thank You Economy

I was reading a blog post that wrapped up by talking about hustle. I would give you a link. But they could not spell hustle correctly, so they lost points. However I was directed to watch some Gary Vaynerchuk videos if I wanted to conquer the world. Who? That's what I was thinking.

Gary's web site has a link to a keynote speech he gave in Las Vegas for Re/MAX. He even makes fun of the fact that most people in the audience would not know who he is. Most recently he wrote a book called the Thank You Economy. I did seem to recognize him from the wine review web site he created a log time ago.

Gary's goal is an old one. He wants to get you to provide great customer service to ensure you get customers that stick. His angle is that you can spend a little time with social media reaching out to such customers personally. That can provide you with lifelong customers.

I don't know if Gary is onto something big like he says he is. Perhaps he is looking to make more sales for his books. Or he really has discovered the next big thing. Time will tell.

The Face Matters

There have been some corporate blunders this week. One was Paypal freezing the account of somebody buying toys for kids. The other was Download dot com who added evil malware to an open source tool. The interesting thing to see was how the company responded to their wrongdoing. Or should I say it was interesting to see who was assigned the task to apologize to the user community.

Download dot com came out strong. They had the attractive Catherine Hwang draft a response. She looks like a cute asian girl. Who is going to continue to be up at arms with Download dot com when Catherine says sorry?

Paypal, on the other hand, Anuj Nayar put out a release on the toys for tots issue. Yeah he may be the director of communications at Paypal. But yikes. I could repeat some of the comments on Hacker News about this guy's photo. But that would be plain mean.

Here is the outtake. Make sure somebody attractive doles out the apologies when your company screws up. It will only help the reponse to be received warmly.