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AllWrite Ink

How To Ruin a Reputation in 140 Characters or Less

by Deborah Chaddock Brown

This past month the experiences of Kevin Smith on Southwest Airlines and 10 million drivers of Toyota vehicles brought home just how powerful 140 characters can be.
Consumers are using their texting skills and Twitter accounts to share just how they feel and they have no problem naming names. Here are just a few tweets I found this weekend:
  • Verizon folks can only say “The system won’t let me” Why? Total customer service failure blaming it on the computer. Sigh.
  • Dear Starbucks Lady. You are in customer service. I am the customer. What part of this relationship is difficult for you to understand?
  • Is there any place in South Beach to eat for lunch where the customer service doesn’t suck? I mean come on. (Pointing to the restaurant at 830 Washington Ave in Miami.
  • Would love to thank Beatrice Beauchamp at the GO training for her terrible customer service.
In an article by Matthew DeBord, entitled Did Twitter Topple Toyota?, he talks about the fact that companies can no longer hope that people won’t discover a problem exists or if they do, that they’ll keep it to themselves.
He talked about Toyota’s attempt to control the story and says:
None of this, though, can contend with the breakneck, crowd sourced, unmediated reputation-wrecker that is the 140 characters of a tweet. As the recall story exploded last week and I pondered the collapse of the vaunted Toyota Way, I checked the #Toyota Twitter tag frequently. The tweet-rate was blistering: Dozens of new tweets every 30 seconds. Give it half an hour and you had a thousand more. Even the most hardened PR warrior would have looked at that and wet his pants.
In my newsletter last month I talked about the fact that real time customer reviews are a top trend for 2010 and within days, these two heavily publicized examples came to be.
How are you keeping up with what is being said about your company.
Visit Search.Twitter and select Advance Search and create a feed for your company name, your primary products and your own name so that you receive updates when someone mentions you. Then get involved in the conversation!
In my search for customer complaints, I found one tweet from a Delta employee responding to a customer’s bad experience. The Tweet asked for the airport city and if a customer complaint had been filed. They were responsive. They were on top of the issue. 
In this competitive environment the only hope we have of standing out against the sea of sameness is by building customer relationships and working hard to keep in touch when things go wrong.
Are you listening to what consumers are saying about your business? Check out this article called Are Your Ears Burning for additional tips.
Volume 5, Issue 3
March 2010

Introducing Home Based Business Blog

Starting in February I began writing a new blog aimed at providing tips and techniques forhome based business entrepreneurs. You’ll find a little bit of everything; marketing, organization, operations, work/life balance. Come visit and share your view and comments.

LinkedIn Tip

Did you know that you can personalize your website and blog link in your profile? Most profiles I’ve viewed have the words attached to a live link:
My company
My website
My blog
However, if you click the tiny EDIT button in your profile next to those words and choose OTHER from the drop down menu, you can change the generic “my company” to AllWrite Ink. It helps with the search results of the link but also tells visitors to your profile the name of your company and your blog without having to read your resume!
Where is Deborah Speaking Next?

March 1   Rubber City Radio “Using social media to promote your events”
March 3   Portage Lakes Career Center “LINC with social media spotlight on Facebook”
March 9   Therapy Partners “Communication Styles”
March 10 Portage Lakes Career Center “LINC with social media: Connect the Dots”
March 11 Nordonia Hills Chamber “Connect with Customers through Social Media”
March 18 NNEP Columbus, Ohio “Connect with customers through Social Media”

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