At 8pm last night I took to Twitter to voice my disappointment that a book I pre-ordered on 26th February for delivery on it's launch date of 10th March had not been delivered and it's status had suddenly changed from 'out for delivery' to an 'indefinite wait'. I tweeted the author of the book, who was asking for feedback, to say I hadn't had the chance to read it yet as Amazon hadn't delivered as promised. I had assumed that this was due to stock shortages, as the book has already proved to be massively popular in the US, and Amazon confirmed by email that there were no copies in the UK at present. The author himself tweeted a reply to me, copying in both Amazon and the UK publisher. This prompted an immediate apology from Amazon on Twitter who still felt kind of hid behind the old 'we'll keep you up to date by email' excuse.
But I explained to them that to me personally there didn't feel like much point in pre-ordering anything from them in future if there was no guarantee that a pre-ordered item would arrive on the launch day. They apologised again and assured me that my experience would be fed back to their Customer Experience Team and we left it at that. This morning, at 9:13am I received an email from Amazon to advise that this same book is now with a courier and will arrive with me tomorrow morning. Not only that, but the price has been reduced by 32%(£6.40) and delivery is now free, which is a really nice gesture.
This reminded me of the main point that I wanted to get across at my #PopUpReading talk about the importance of remembering that social media is all about people and treating them how you would expect to be treated. People that feel, behave and respond in exactly the same way you or I do. That businesses now need to think of every single sale as a person. Every complaint, every kind word and every tweet is a person. Never underestimate the power or reach of social media, nor the propensity for companies who pride themselves on outstanding customer service to go the 'extra mile' to fix a problem or resolve an issue for their customers. These are the companies and businesses that will succeed and are already succeeding on social media. Those that still see their 'customers' as statistics, as vanity metrics, as simply 'likes' and 'followers' have already failed at the first hurdle.