I had a really cool interaction last night with whoever was behind the Twitter account @AmazonToys at the time. Speaking with them validated my assumption that Amazon.com is a forward-thinking company, one that I will gladly continue to purchase from, and the value of social media—especially when coupled with direct interaction with customers and giving the power to make changes to those on the front lines.
At 5:30 pm last night, @AmazonToys posted the following:
Under $10 deals! LEGO Atlantis Wreck Raider $5.99 #moms #kids #makesmesmile #lastminutegifts #saving http://amzn.to/fVvwqK
Being a troublemaker and a Dad who is involved and invested in his kids, I replied at 5:47 pm:
Sigh, why the #moms tag? RT @AmazonToys:LEGO (toy) $5.99 #moms #kids #lastminutegifts #saving http://amzn.to/fVvwqK
@AmazonToys, just one minute later replied, cutely:
@jgarrow Moms should be informed about great deals :)
I explained myself a bit better:
Not Dads, too? RT @AmazonToys: @jgarrow Moms should be informed about great deals :)
@AmazonToys That said, I understand /why/ you tagged it that way, just dislike that it’s okay. Don’t mean to cause a fuss. Still a good deal.
@AmazonToys replied to my reasoning just one minute later:
@jgarrow Agreed, will be sure to add dads, too :)
I retweeted that last message, made sure to give them props and replayed the original LEGO toy link.
Every post since then by @AmazonToys has included both the #moms and #dads hashtags.
In the end, it was a trifle, and fixing it cost absolutely nothing, but look how warm and fuzzy it made me, a current (and potentially future) customer, feel. If I were an influential blogger, I might write it up and @AmazonToys could be seen by hundreds or thousands of Dads with disposable income, who are already annoyed that all child-rearing messages seem to default to Moms, as a hero company.
Or worse, @AmazonToys might not have responded to me, and I could have written a scathing post about how Amazon hates Dads and thinks they’re all absentee fathers, with the intention of sharing it with my (theoretical) legions of angry Dads.
Let’s look at what they did right. They saw my negatively slanted post, and responded right away (maybe not the same way I would have). I raised my issue with them, and not only did they reply right away, the person doing the replying was authorized to change what that message—and all future messages—said. Problem solved! One more happy customer, who retweeted their link three times, ended the conversation with a positive tweet and then wrote up a nice blog post on the interaction.
For companies, that seems pretty cut and dried, and is increasingly becoming the norm. But for you government communicators, when is the last time someone wrote something nice about an interaction they’ve had with your agency? Can you respond within a minute to a negative post online about your agency? Do you even track online posts?
I know that I talk a lot about emergency communications and online monitoring here, which seems different than this situation, but I assure you they are integrally tied together. @AmazonToys quick and satisfying response to me (which they were able to do because they monitor the space) allowed them to avoid a crisis situation, which is always preferable, obviously. So it’s important to first do the monitoring, but it’s just as important to be comfortable doing the monitoring and making changes on the fly. Which is why doing it in a non-emergency situation is the best possible time to do it.
Kudos once again to Amazon and the person behind @AmazonToys. You showed me how important I am as a customer, and how simple crisis communication can be when done proactively.