Tag Archives: Social Media

Why Can’t a Tech Giant like Google Have Amazing Customer Experience?

Is a company like Google too large to make huge impacts on their customer service? I don’t think so…

Now, to be fair, when I complained that the iPhone App for Google+was no longer working, I did get a comment from +Vic Gundotra, who “plus-mentioned” someone else (I’m assuming the person responsible for the Google+ App for iPhone).

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The iPhone App has yet to be fixed, but I give Google major points that the person in charge of Google+ actually read my post and passed on the information to someone who may actually be able to do something about it…

I sent +Vic Gundotra  a private message about this, thanking him and offering up a suggestion, but I don’t know if he read it or not (he never responded, but he is a busy man), but it’s not private information. It is a deeply held belief of mine, so I don’t mind sharing my advice on this post…

Companies Make Mistakes

Shit happens. From my many years managing in the restaurant industry, I learned that no matter how “tight of a ship” you run, occasionally the ball is going to get dropped. At my restaurant, it might be a spilled drink tray or an undercooked piece of meat. For Google+, it may be the iPhone App breaking or various other bugs that occur from time to time.

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The two are actually a lot more similar than a lot of people realize (running a restaurant or running a billion dollar tech company). Both occur in real-time, right in front of the customer. There is no “down time” during the operating hours of a restaurant, just as there is no “down time” during the running of a social network. They can’t just magically fix all the mistakes while things are shut down and reopen the next day fresh.

They have to stay running on all other fronts, in addition to fixing whatever went wrong. A restaurant has to continue serving all of its other patrons, and a social network has to keep functioning for all of its other users, while the problem gets fixed in the background (at the same time).

Initiating a Moment of Truth

This is what I used to call it when something bad happened at the restaurant. It is not a ‘problem’… it is a ‘challenge’ that gives the business an opportunity to show what they are really made of. As I said, initially, companies make mistakes (even the best companies). How the mistake is handled is what separates the weak companies from the strong companies.

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The “problem” that occurred is an opportunity for the business to:

  1. Apologize for the mistake.
  2. Let the guest/user know that a solution is being worked on.
  3. Fix the problem (get the right food out or work out the kinks in the Google+ iPhone App).
  4. Make it up to customer/user (with restaurants, I would comp a guest’s meal, but with a social network they may need to think outside-the-box on this step).

I was the only one that I know of that complained, but I’m sure the bug in the iPhone App affected all Google+‘s iPhone users. To make up for the iPhone App being unusable for multiple weeks, perhaps on the next App update, they could include an extra feature that is iPhone-exclusive.

So, a way +Google+ could “initiate a moment of truth” would be:

  • issuing an official statement that explains the error
  • that they fixed it.
  • they are including an extra special feature in the next update to make up for it.

Another way Google+ could initiate a moment of truth would be:

  • issuing an official statement.
  • that they fixed it.
  • maybe offer a couple free songs from Google Music (a way to apologize, and secretly convert iTunes users over to using Google Music).

The fact that +Vic Gundotra  took notice of my post at all was huge for such a large company like Google… and I can infer from his plus-mentioning of someone else that it’s being taken seriously. However, Google could take it to the next level of customer experience by doing something like the examples I’ve listed above.

I know that it is such a large-scale user base that the individual can get lost in the shuffle, but I don’t think the solutions I’ve suggested above are unreasonable for Google to do, and it would set them apart from the other technology companies by actually taking the user’s discomfort seriously, showing that they empathize with them, and making an effort to do something to make up for it.

That’s what would push them into an exceptional customer experience level, like what you would expect at one of the Disney Parks. The “word of mouth” alone from doing something so positive would spread like wildfire on the net: “Even Tech Giant Google Cares About Their Users, Whether They Use Their Branded Smartphones or Someone Else’s.”

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You couldn’t beat that. Just a suggestion…

Google sincerely thinks that Google+ is the future of Google

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A Google and Google+ Future

While I believe this is a definite possibility (and admittedly being a Google+ fan myself), there is much more to ruling the future of the internet than scooping up new, ignorant users. Google+ needs to up its game in terms of features, user-friendliness, intuitiveness, learning curve, and really just a whole makeover. I’ve been patient with Google+, but it has been too long now without any significant updates or improvements.

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A Facebook Future

Facebook (I hate to say it) now dominates Google+ in features, and they are slowly learning that people would rather connect with like-minded strangers than the people they shared a high school with (that no longer share any interests with them).

Google+ can be the future of Google (and the Internet), but it needs a little push…

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The New Secret Weapon for Social Media Success

Posting stupid and/or hilarious pictures.

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This strategy will absolutely increase user engagement for your social media profile. People today have the attention span of a squirrel, and will pass over anything that does not immediately catch their eye. That’s why it has to be visual. Text is boring and takes time to see what the main topic is. People literally will not spend 10 seconds on reading a bit of text and deducing if it is a topic that interests them. It has to be instantaneous, big, and bold.

People enjoy laughing. It feels good. It releases endorphins in your brain, giving you pleasure. So, you have to make them laugh. Otherwise, they’ll continue to seek pleasure from another source. We are animals. We like feeling good.

For example: hardly anybody will read this post, but if I had posted a stupid GIF or meme, it would have tons of hits. Why did I even take the time to write this? That remains a mystery… Modern marketing is radically different, due to technological advancements and reduced attention spans.

It’s like the old saying “don’t judge a book by its cover.” In today’s world, the book and the cover are one and the same.

 

Google: A Culture and Way of Life, Not a Tool.

Google

Google could run breathtaking campaigns, enhance the user experience, and market themselves for what they truly are: a culture and way of life, not a tool.

Google has evolved into more than just a search engine.

Sure, that started it all, which sparked an “age of curiosity.” For the first time, anyone could find out anything, if they looked hard enough.

Throw social into the mix, and we’re creating a completely new society.

“Hey, these people think like me,” empowers us all.

“Hey, these people don’t think like me, let’s discuss,” starts a dialog.

Google is tearing the walls down of outdated norms, awakening untapped potential, and allowing us to become our true selves. This increase in honesty will lead to a decrease of prejudice and ignorance, creating a better world for everyone.

Seamless Integration

This isn’t even touching the subject of how the next generation technology that Google is developing will make technology less of a burden. Google will bring technology back to its intended purpose: to enhance our lives, not slow it down or get in the way.

 

The Moment of Truth

We’re divided, for the most part, in two main groups.:

1. The Old-Schoolers

These are the people brought up in a different world. They’re afraid or disinterested in radical changes.

They think the next generation is way too obsessed with social media, technology, and pleasure.

They think we are uncommitted to picking one occupation and mastering it.

They think we are lazy, with a short attention span.

The old-schoolers are the ones in power. They are our leaders of government and massive corporations.

2. The New-Schoolers

They embrace new technology and do love social media.

They like to mix business and pleasure, personal and professional.

They like to write about their opinions on the public net, unafraid of who sees it.

Due to social media, and innovations such as Google Search and Wikipedia, don’t like traditional education.

They may not get the depth of knowledge from reading an expert’s book or scholarly articles, but have a breadth of knowledge about many different topics.

They become curious about a topic, google it, and learn about it on their own.

They are a generation of polymaths, with diverse sets of skills and knowledge.

They don’t want their entire life or career mapped out ahead of time, don’t mind flexibility, and believe in collaboration.

They are frustrated with the way the world, business, and society runs.

They despise the old-school way of thinking, but feel powerless to change it, since the old-schoolers have all the power and control.

Partial Truth and Not Seeing the Big Picture

Both sides have valid points. It’s simply the way society has evolved. At the same time, both sides are blind to something the world constantly forgets: Even though big changes are difficult and seem impossible, they always happen.

People look at the current state of affairs and base their personal view of the world on this alone. Best case scenario, they notice the most recent changes from the last 5 years. This is an inaccurate way to see things.

A New Perspective

Go back 20 years into the past, and compare that world to the world of today:

Radically different.

Now, take that same measurement of change and apply it to 20 years in the future:

Wow.

If you really do this, you’ll realize how dramatically things do change in every aspect of life. This cycle has happened a countless number of times throughout history.

It’s just like if you see a person everyday, they seem to be the exact same; unchanging.

Run into someone from back in school from many years ago that you haven’t seen. You hardly believe it’s the same person.

Taking Advantage of This New Perspective

The key to making big changes is to stop looking at things in such a day-to-day, year-to-year manner.

Force yourself to actually look back 20 years ago.

Look at today, and see what has changed.

Force yourself to imagine how much will inevitably be different 20 years from now.

Take into account the right-around-the-corner changes we already know about.

Use these vantage points to form an educated prediction of the future.

Use this prediction of the future to dream up all the problems and opportunities that will occur.

Determine the best way that you as a person, group, or company can make an impact to this predicted future.

Invest at least a portion of your current profits into begin developing the innovation.

Look past next quarter’s earnings, and devote a portion of your operations to these ideas, even though there won’t be a return on investment for quite a while.

Your company will profit a bit less right now, because of this.

Keep calm and stay committed to the long-term vision.

The Disruption

Even before the “future” arrives, you will, out-of-nowhere, pop up with an innovation that blows everyone away.

It will appear as magic to the mass population, because they’ve still been living in the present / immediate future this whole time.

This “magic” will create a massive following. It will inspire future generations, and restore faith to those who had given up hope. It will disrupt everything.

The best part is that you weren’t any more talented than your competitors. You may have even been a smaller player in the industry. You may have had less resources, cash flow, and reputation than everyone else.

Suddenly, and without warning, you are now the big player — you hold the power. Consequently, you can use your new prestige to keep the mindset going.

All of your success is derived from forcing yourselves to see ahead and then staying committed to the big vision.

One Individual vs The World

It’s easy to see how an already successful business can do this, simply by changing their perspective a little bit.

It’s harder to see how a single person can innovate on such a massive scale.

That’s where some of the “right now” technology at our disposal changes everything: Tools that allow easier collaboration and sharing of knowledge.

These tools are available right now, but do we use them? A perfect example is Google+.

It’s 100% possible for like-minded individuals to come together and form companies of their own, combining their strengths and shared vision.

At first, it may mean forming small companies / collaboration teams, and then presenting this information to larger companies (better yet, people that will invest directly in you and allow you the resources to actually create the innovation on your own, i.e. Facebook).

The key here is collaborating and getting things started. Create the products, concepts, and ideas that you truly believe can make a big impact.

If you start to make it happen, it may actually happen. If you sit on your ass bitching about the way things are, it won’t.

The Future is Inevitable. Still Open to Suggestions

The future is going to change dramatically, like it or not. However, it may not be the one we wanted or needed.

If you don’t jump in soon, you won’t be a part of what made it happen. Plus, that one crazy idea you had could have potentially had the biggest impact.

Missing out on one person’s insight or dream, could mean the difference between SkyNet and a utopian global awakening.

It’s easy to point out flaws in the system. Actually having a solution planned out is what makes you an innovator instead of a critic.

Connect

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Connect with me on any or all of these social networks!

Sometimes there’s an overlap of content, but sometimes you’ll find hidden gems on one of the networks. Follow the links, sign up, and if I’m not already, and add me in. If you run into any trouble, let me know on this post here.

If I’m already a connection, but we’ve never interacted on the site before, shoot me a quick message letting me know who you are and what you’re about Also, I urge anyone else who wants to expand their networks to post a link to their profile in the comments section.

My Blog – Backwards Time Machine

This is where I post longer articles, dealing with my primary passions: Future Problem Solving, Innovation, Future Trends, Creativity, Leadership, and Giftedness.

LinkedIn

My professional-ish way to present myself to future collaborators, look for jobs, and connect with recruiters, people I’d want to work with someday, and newcomers to the scene that I see potential in.

Facebook

The classic, instigator of all this social networking nonsense. Not the first, but the biggest impact, by far. I don’t use it very often, but love some of the features they have, especially the tight, seamless integration it has with most of the other sites. Google could take some notes on that aspect, but I still don’t really use the site.

Twitter

I’m not going to explain twitter or why I have an account. Sometimes. I’m a sheep just like everyone else (I don’t really like Twitter, honestly). But hey, I’m on there, so follow me!

Tumblr

I do re-post my blog’s articles, but I also re-post anything I find interesting.

A great resource is to see only other people’s content I that I enjoyed, by checking out my “liked” page.

Instagram

Photos I post. There is also a link within to see the photos from other people I liked.

YouTube

I don’t make very many videos, but on this profile you’ll be able to see videos I’ve liked or favorited. A lot of music, futurist stuff, and funny stuff (Ricky Gervais, Louis CK, Arrested Development, and The Simpsons).

StumbleUpon

This site I very highly recommend signing up for, and taking for a test run. It’s called a “discovery engine:”

As you initially set up your profile, you select from a long list of topics that interest you. Then, you just hit the “stumble” button, and a random web page pops up, based on what they think you’ll like. If you do like, you give it a “thumbs up.” If you don’t, a “thumbs down.”

Over time, it learns from this and the sites are more consistently enjoyable. It’s also possible to stumble everything, or a specific interest. Think Pandora, but for the entire Internet.

Pinterest

I mostly just play around on there, but I’ve found some awesome photos there, as well.

Pearltrees


A visual way of bookmarking great content around the web. You can also discover similar content and users, based on what you have in your pearls. It’s pretty cool.

Delicious

A more traditional way of bookmarking sites you enjoy.

Klout

Not a huge fan, Klout is supposed to measure your social influence around the web. I find it turns more into an unhealthy obsession with how you rank on the Internet. How rank on the Internet is relevant in any way has yet to be discovered…

Step One: Collaboration

Let’s get our heads a little closer together, so that we actually can take the world from the greedy, selfish, and arrogant, and put it in the hands of the adaptive, optimistic, and brilliant minds of future generations.

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