When a company actually *gets* social media, it creates more than a customer for life.


My better half bought me a shirt a few months ago from ThinkGeek with a slogan on the shirt that read: When in Doubt, Try Another Hole (Tongue in cheek geek humour). When a hole developed in the shirt after only two months, my instinct was to extract the last value from the situation by making a joke on Twitter given ThinkGeek was an online retailer based outside Australia. So I tweeted the irony..


Thinkgeek shirt



To my surprise, 8 hours later I received a tweet from @Thinkgeek offering me a replacement shirt. Now I wasn’t angling for a free shirt, I didn’t even know @ThinkGeek was listening,  butby contacting me (a slightly frustrated customer) in my medium of choice (I was venting on twitter) they effectively neutralised what could have been a serious venting of outrage by a customer and returned me firmly into the happy ThinkGeek supporter camp. I certainly won’t be badmouthing their products or service in the future, and if anything I have become a brand evangelist for ThinkGeek (As is indicative by this posts existence).

Moreover, given the rapid pace of social media, ThinkGeek understood the importance of acting promptly and from when I Dm’d @ThinkGeek with the orders details, to the time the replacement T-Shirt arrived, was no less than 72 Hours. Given that there was a weekend in the middle of that, and I’m in Australia, this is an amazing response to what was a relatively minor issue.

Thinkgeek gets social media and the importance of doing the little things right. Creating goodwill amongst your existing customer base is one of the best ways to create brand evangelists who will create positive sentiment ripples for your brand when using social media. Monitoring social media with tools such as Radian6 to pick up mentions of your brand in order to act fast on issues raised in social media is an essential part of creating a social media army willing to put their reputation and social capital behind your brand.

**Update** I’ve talked to @ThinkGeek and they have confirmed they use a combination of Google Alerts and Tweetdeck to monitor and track their social media presence. Social media monitoring doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition, these tools are a great first step to managing your brand online.

9 thoughts on “When a company actually *gets* social media, it creates more than a customer for life.”

  1. David, that is a great post and example how if can form a positive experience for a brand when an unhappy customer can assume that the company actually cares about them as an individual. Even if they are using social monitoring tools such as Radian6 or ViralHeat, it is the action that counts.

    If only ThinkGeek did socks….

  2. I had a similar thing happen with Blue Ant, i made a post on a forum and my blog. No less than a few hours after making the post they located me on MSN and over the course of a few days resolved all the problems i had.

  3. That’s the kind of post I love to see. I’ve never purchased from ThinkGeek, but been drooling over many of their products. Definitely appeases any concerns I might have had.

    And reminds me of my own experience with a Vodafone NZ mishap and brilliant way it was handled: http://wix.nu/vfnz

  4. Nice post, another example for the thakfully growing ‘brands that get social media’ pile. Funny I tweeted this last week:

    #HCF health insurance, wife been with you +25 years, shouldn’t this loyalty be recognised and rewarded through cost and service offering?

    Part as a vent and part a test to see if anyone was listening. Still no reponse from HCF…. I wait in hope.

    Feels like everyone is testing social monitoring tools just now (no surprise). Our 2 cents worth, some do better than others at filtering the clutter, providing a dashboard that is simply and intuative and lastly defining trends. When it comes to the real valuable area of getting in amongst a trend and extracting specifics that will provide value to a brand then we still look to our Content Manager.

    Just discovered this blog and looking forward to reading more.


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