I posted recently about a great new book by Jeff Jarvis (What Would Google Do).
Another story in this book has helped me better understand the power of social media and how it is changing the game for brand organisations.
This story is about what happened when Jarvis bought a dodgy lap-top from Dell in 2005. He explains that despite paying extra for at-home service, he spent hours on the telephone to overseas call centres, sent it back a number of times and had to start from square-one every time he called.
In desperation and to let off steam and wrote a blog untitled “Dell sucks.”
To cut a long story short what happened then was that others started to leave comments and links to his blog about their problem lap-tops. These actions took on a life of their own, soon creating a large anti-fan club that caused Jarvis’s blog to appear progressively higher in Google search and eventually reaching the first page under Dell’s home page.
These conversations were starting to damage Dell’s brand.
Dell started to suffer declining customer satisfaction scores, revenues and share price. (Jarvis acknowledges that this was not solely down to his blog.)
Jarvis offered Michael Dell four tips:
1. Read blogs about your brand
2. Talk to your blogger consumers
3. Blog yourself
4. Listen then show us how you are going to improve and use bloggers to help.
If you want the full story and an explanation of how Dell turned it round, and loads of other good stuff, I suggest you buy the book.
For me his story clearly highlights 3 vital things:
· Brands must deliver what they promise.
· Brands must listen to what consumers are saying and use what they learn to find ways to work-out how to delight them.
· Brands must not under estimate the power and importance of a good social media strategy.
My advice for anyone in a brand organisation with responsibility for building successful brand experiences is to pay very close attention to all the above.