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A Lesson In Customer Service From HTC

Leigh Momii Addresses Customer's Burning Issue

A lot is said on this website about the right ways to use social media as a marketing tool, of the challenges and rewards of interacting with an online mass consumer audience. Occasionally, however, it’s helpful to get a real-life example of just how it should be done.

Such an example was on display earlier this week on popular site Reddit, a link aggregator and social media site which bills itself as ‘the front page of the internet.’

On a board dedicated to the discussion of Android phones, Reddit user TweekTheGeek posted about how his Samsung Galaxy S4 had caught fire while charging and his subsequent difficulty with Samsung representatives over replacing it. He detailed his repeated attempts to contact the company through Facebook, Twitter, email, and phone, and the general poor showing from Samsung over the issue.

The same day, HTC Product Manager Leigh Momii, posting under the name jetleigh on Reddit, replied to
TweekTheGeek’s post with the offer of a free HTC M8. After asking TweekTheGeek a few questions about their interactions with Samsung as well as their general opinion of various features, Momii made the offer on the public forum and asked TweekTheGeek to contact her on her Twitter account for further details.

There are two important factors to consider in this story. The first is, of course, the offer itself. It is a truism that there is nothing more valuable to a business than customer satisfaction, and for the cost of a single phone – the M8 costs around £500 – HTC likely won this individual’s loyalty for life, let alone the fact that the entire exchange will have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. The Taiwanese manufacturer is a relatively small fish in the international smartphone market, with a 2% share of phones sold worldwide. This kind of publicity is invaluable for them and demonstrates the kind of flexibility and grassroots awareness which larger companies may overlook.

Perhaps a more pertinent aspect to this saga is Leigh Momii herself. Momii is a long-term and active member of the Reddit community, engaging in discussions about everything from the Seahawks American football team to the best sandwich in Seattle. Her professional aspect, although prominent on the site – she had previously fielded questions regarding the HTC product line – was by no means everything. Momii’s actions are a perfect example of how success in social media is not simply a matter of posting one’s latest releases on Pinterest or asking people to like pictures on Facebook.

The marriage of social media and business is an opportunity for both sides: for the customer to receive the kind of superlative service on show here as well as for a business’s interaction with customers to move beyond linear bureaucracy and become something more engaging, more exciting. If ever a reminder were needed that the old divides between business and consumer, and even within business itself, are being rapidly eroded, this is as good as any. To segment engagement with social media away as simply a variant of advertising or customer service is to do it a great disservice, and to cripple a vital part of your business. As the real Jet Li said, ‘A weapon isn’t good or bad, depends on the person who uses it.’ Social media, used well, is as powerful a weapon as any.

Douglas is an English Literature graduate who has written about everything from music to food to theatre, now a content creator for Social Media Frontiers. No topic too large or too small. Follow him @DouglasAtSMF.

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A Lesson In Customer Service From HTC Reviewed by Anonymous on Monday, July 28, 2014 Rating: 5
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