Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Thought for the week: social change

"I look forward to seeing more and more people willing to resist the direction the world is moving in: a direction where our personal experiences are irrelevant, that we are defective, that our communities are not important, that we are powerless, that the future is determined, and that the highest level of humanity is expressed through what we choose to buy at the mall." American Rachel Corrie (1979-2003), killed while working as a volunteer in Gaza

One of the most powerful and important roles social media plays isn't really about brands and money, it's about community, awareness and consequently real world changes. And when that makes good things happen then it makes a difference to our lives. Without taking the whole people power thing too seriously I took a quick look at a couple of positive things that have happened via social media. Here is what I found after just 5 minutes searching:

1. In 3 weeks a group of friends used social media to get 24,000 people to register for a National Bone Marrow Donor Program to help save a friends life: http://tinyurl.com/2w76fbo

2. The Tactical Technology Collective produced a must-see documentary on
a new generation of info-activists - campaigners who are using new technologies to force social change: http://www.tacticaltech.org

3. Save the Children recently took three UK mum bloggers to Bangladesh to report on why so many youngsters are needlessly suffering: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/

4. TakingITGlobal claims to be the largest online community of youth interested in global issues and creating positive change: http://www.tigweb.org/action-tools/commit/

5. earthOCEAN is a unique media production company based in Melbourne, Australia. They use cutting-edge digital technologies to communicate science, environmental, wildlife, news and current affairs topics to the public in a way that inspires and informs. http://earthocean.tv/

There is loads out there. Keep up the good work.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Thought for the week

"The key to success is to risk thinking unconventional thoughts." British inventor Trevor Baylis

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Online purchase experiences still suck most of the time

Why do I keep finding purchase experiences online that are completely flawed?

When something goes wrong online or once you receive a purchase offline you can rarely recover the problem without going into the offline world and therefore ending up in a store or on the phone. The person you end up speaking to usually makes some reference to the 'internet people' being rubbish and how they will try to help but it will probably be a complete nightmare as they are not really part of that bit of the company.

This is unacceptable. I'm not talking about the need for multi-channel services here, I'm talking about the basics of offering the service online in the first place (aren't I?).

Some pointers:

1. Allow for things to go wrong and offer ways of making them right - online.
2. If it can't happen online (for whatever made up technical reason) make sure you provide the customer with information on how they can resolve the problem offline.
3. Make sure the people offline are prepared and able to help people with their online related purchase problems. And that they apologise for the inadequacies of the online service whilst explaining how this will be reported back to the 'internet people' to help them improve things.

As a company you need to trap these moments and experiences and understand them, it will help to build your case for making them better and allow you to make sure they are factored into your E-Channel teams responsibilities. They are, after all, part of the customer experiences of buying online.

Enough said.