Thursday, August 12, 2010

(empo-tuulwey) A disagreement between Jesse Stay and the Guinness world record folks on @Xboxsupport

It has been my observation that it's not enough to create a Twitter customer support account for your company and proclaim victory. You need to make sure that the Twitter tool is integrated into your company's entire customer support strategy.

Perhaps I should have said that it's important for your company to actually HAVE a customer support strategy.

If you haven't seen the story of Jesse Stay and @XboxSupport, let me provide a brief recap.

Stay has had numerous problems, and numerous warranty replacements, of his Xbox. When Stay ran into a problem yet again, he tweeted about it. Eventually @XboxSupport found the conversation in Twitter and chimed in.

@Jesse Xbox Phone support and us are different people, but all the same family. Whats the problem you're having with your Xbox? ^MK

Unfortunately, @XboxSupport went right to script, suggesting that Stay use a diagnostic tool that he had already used. Now from the high-level corporate perspective, it makes sense to go through the script to make sure that no stone is left unturned. But on Twitter, working off of a script doesn't play that well.

@XboxSupport I'm tired of troubleshooting. This is the 5th Xbox 360 you've replaced of mine and they all end up w/ red rings of death.

Now this should have sent up a red flag to the Xbox tweeter that perhaps the issue needed to be escalated, and it would be a good time to get off script - or perhaps to get a better script.


Step 420.

If CUSTOMER states that Microsoft has already provided more than three warranty replacements, go to Special Procedure Gold.

Unfortunately, @XboxSupport stuck with the old script:

@Jesse Are you keeping them in well ventilated areas? ^MK

Stay answered the question, and volunteered additional information:

@XboxSupport yes, it's well ventilated. My Wii doesn't break. Neither does my DVD or other equipment. Only the Xbox 360.

Hmm...I see another customer service script improvement here:


Step 421.

If CUSTOMER praises a competitor, go to Special Procedure SaveTheAccount.

Note that this procedure is called SaveTheAccount, not DenigrateTheCompetition. That may not work:

@Jesse Neither of those other devices has the same kind of powerful hardware in it. Where is it located? ^MK

Incidentally, let's take a moment to consider the ramifications of this statement. Now I'll grant that the statement was probably not well thought-out - tweets rarely are - but in effect the tweet suggests that the product is so far advanced compared to the competition that it's unreliable. Apparently just the awesomeness of the device is supposed to make consumers feel that problems with the device's reliability just aren't all that important.

Did Microsoft outsource its Xbox customer support to Apple?

Anyway, suffice it to say that at the end of the day, Jesse Stay was one very unsatisfied customer. And Stay happens to be a blogger, and he wrote about his experience. At the time of the post, things weren't so rosy:

When approaching customer support in a public environment, the rules change. You absolutely cannot give any hint that your customers are ever wrong. Take it to DM. Take it to e-mail if you want to do that. Encourage immediately for those customers to e-mail you or call you when it comes to that. Assumptions can never be made, because you can be held liable.

Instead, I got to tell my 26,000 followers, and now a blog post that will go out to more, how frustrated I was with Microsoft, over and over again with them only fueling my fire each and every time. The Twitter XboxSupport account has told me, to their 35,000 followers, that I’m wrong, over and over again. It’s lose-lose, and nobody wins.

But when you have tens of thousands of followers, the script can magically disappear:

Happy to have a Senior rep from @XboxSupport contact me by phone. I'm glad they're listening, and we'll see where this goes.

And the sad part about this? Jesse Stay is up against the Guinness World Record folks.

Less than a year after starting Twitter support, the Xbox Support Elite Tweet Fleet has become a major leg of the Xbox support foundation, pulling in the highest customer satisfaction rates across various support channels.

They must be doing something right; the team recently landed the Guinness World Record for Most Responsive Brand on Twitter.

And what about ^MK (Mitchel), the person who was communicating with Jesse? Well, he provides a lot of support, so maybe this was just the isolated bad day.

We'll see what happens.
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