Like other corporate executives, Michael Dell wants to know what his customers think about Dell computer products, customer service, and other areas.
But rather than wait for customer complaints or praises to affect other people through blogs, discussion boards, or the media, he has a staff of 42 employees who monitor the social web and follow-up with people through online communities, writes Jon Fortt in Fortune Magazine this month.
What is this Team Web 2.0 learning? One important nugget: that potential customers spend 99% of their time on the web doing research and just 1% actually buying. So the company has tried to dial down the hard sell and become — or at least appear to become — more helpful.
I bring this up as I received a strange email tonight from the “member care department” at classmates.com, which I maintain a social networking profile on to liaise with high school classmates not on Facebook.
The email began:
Thank you for your recent twitter post regarding your experience with Classmates. I’m more than happy to assist you.
I blinked, recalling the following public tweet:
Apparently, they saw my name in reaction to their company and deduced how to find my email address to contact me inside of 48 hours!
Classmates.com, it seems, is using similar tracking software as Dell to listen to the social buzz and respond accordingly.
That’s good business and that’s something you should offer to your customers, too.
Do you have any similar stories to share?