A NEW AGE OF CONNECTED LEADERSHIP
I have a love hate relationship with social media. I thrive on information, I always want to learn more and I enjoy sharing valuable or intriguing articles with others. Yet social is also a beast that needs to be fed on a hyper regular basis if you want to stay relevant and in the flow of information. Hence the love hate situation.
However social gives our “on demand” world great access. Last week I read an article about Elon Musk in INC where Elon took a valid customer’s complaint expressed on Twitter and created a new policy for Tesla customers in just a few days. (full article here ) This not only shows that Elon/Tesla are a customer driven organization but the realtime response was what struck me the most. Tesla’s actions breathed new life into my belief that customer service is at the core of any company’s success or failure.
This week I experienced a challenging situation with Issuu, a company I have been a supporter of for many years. I was frustrated with their service team. I did a little due diligence on the management of the company and decided to reach out directly to their CEO, Joe Hyrkin, via Twitter. I was polite and simply asked for some assistance since my situation had been prolonged beyond what I thought was reasonable for quite a simple request. Within an hour of my direct tweet ,“ping” I had a reply and a LinkedIn request so we could connect via email. I shared my story and within 15 mins of sending the email my entire experience changed for the good. I received a reply from Joe saying he had asked his head of customer experience to resolve the situation for me. My request was addressed and I was back to using their service and being a very happy client. This company could not have done more to resolve this situation faster, with a positive attitude and appreciation for my patronage of their company. I could say “well the situation shouldn’t have happened” but I’m a realist and issues do arise. I am more invested in companies that resolve and move forward, learn and grow.
My take away from this experience is two fold. The access that social media gives us is unprecedented, and companies should use this to their advantage. As marketers we always want quantitative and qualitative information to analyze, strategize and plan. However, since starting my career in retail, I still thrive on the direct connection with consumers / target demos. There is nothing like a “real” connection to undercover raw feedback that adds an altruistic POV to our work.
I commend both Elon Musk, and Joe Hyrkin for being CEOs who not only lead, but who are intimately involved in their company, their customer experience and the intersection that this all brings about. This is a new breed of C-Suite executives that understand the realtime nature of today’s business, and are using it as a competitive advantage. Customers are the life blood of a company – doesn’t it make sense to leverage access both ways?