TIMBUK2 And Social Customer Service

25.01.2013 | Author: Borislav Kiprin
On January 24, 2013 one of the clips on my TIMBUK2 Messendger D-Lux Bag broke due to harsh weather conditions. To be fair, it was the second time, cause low temperatures cause the plastic to wear off in general and become fragile. About 40 days ago another one broke, but I replaced it with a spare I had on the other strap that came with the bag...

I've had my TIMBUK2 bag for about two years. It is one of the things I carry around every day that I cannot live without. It is functional and I can put everything in there - my iPad, my Friday antipasti bought at the market, my umbrella and even my niece when she was a bit younger... So you can imagine how devastated I was when the clip broke...

Since I already knew before hand that TIMBUK2 does not have retail shops in Germany (I got my bag on Amazon.de), I decided to battle my own laziness and took a picture immediately attaching it to a tweet addressed to @timbook2:

Twitter timbuk2 borislavkiprin

And this is the chronology of events in their full length:

At 8:32 pm I reported the problem (photo included) and asked for help/guidance.
At 8:41 pm (only 9 minutes later) I got a reply with instructions on how to proceed.
At 8:49 pm I shot an email featuring the picture, a screenshot of my amazon order details (so they'd know the model of the bag) and my email copy.
At 9:15 pm I received a reply from "CustomerService At Timbuk2" filled with compassion and asking me from my address.
At 9:23 pm I sent a reply with my address.

To sum up, I had a shout out on Twitter @timbuk2, was transferred to email to deal with privacy sensitive information and none of my time was wasted by unnecessary questions. Throughout the communication I was being treated with genuine care, understanding, addressed by a first name in an informal, but yet polite tone and everything was kept short and to the point. My user experience was just great.

And since I am a digital marketing professional with a thing for User Experience, I can only treasure the approach TIMBUK2 is taking on service design. If one visits their website, they will see the same coherent approach there as well. Starting from shared reference on bag vs laptop sizes, going through well implemented personalisation functionality in their online shop and finishing up with support information from integrated social media channels. These guys have their digital marketing strategy on the right path.  

It still amazes me that in the age of social media being used virtually by everyone that is on the net (one way or another), there are still companies that neglect social media integration in their customer support services. To be able to do so, one has to have a well structured service design, otherwise it would be an even greater mess delivering bad user experience.

I've wrote today back to them, asking whether it would be possible to talk to their Digital Marketing Manager or the Marketing one, just to learn more about the social customer service integration at the back-end. Not sure, if they will have time for me. But if they do, I will try to make a case out of it and offer it to you on this blog, should TIMBUK2 give their explicit permission to do so, of course.

Kudos, TIMBUK2! You've got a customer for life.

Do you have any experience with social media integrated in customer service? Care to share it in the comments bellow?

52 reasons to follow @elreiss on Twitter

31.01.2010 | Author: Eric Reiss
I just came across an article suggesting no fewer than 60 ways to attract Twitter followers (http://is.gd/7maoX). It comes from @technotip (who is worth following).

I'm completely jazzed. I want followers. I crave followers. Followers are now my raison d'etre. Follow me @elreiss. My ego is suffering from hunger pains. FEED IT NOW!

Oops. Did I get carried away? (must remember to Tweet about this - check it out @elreiss)

Penis envy in cyberspace
You really have to laugh at some of these tactics. Number of Twitter followers seems to have become the social media equivalent of penis envy. And some of these scams are clearly the cyber-equivalent of a penis-extender. Henceforth, anyone who even considers running a Twitter contest will be added to my personal blacklist.

Why the tasteless self-promotion, @elreiss?
This is an experiment. OK?

In addition to retweeting stuff from folks smarter than I am and recommending articles, I occasionally have original thoughts. Looking through some of the past year’s tweets, I found around 50 that seemed to stand the test of time better than most.

WTF, @elreiss? Get to the point!
I’m not really out to build a huge follower base, but I would like to experiment a bit with the “content is king” notion. So please remember to “unfollow” if my tweets don’t contribute in some useful way to your own life and work. I'm keeping track of follower stats from day to day. Read 'em and weep-or-whatever.

52 tweets I (@elreiss) wrote and like
Will the iPon be a brand extension of the iPad?

Why follow your Twitter followers if you don't care what folks say?

This is a day for avoiding real work. Which is why I've been pondering cross-dressers who wear burkas. How would anyone know?

I wish it was as big a crime to be dumb as it is to be dishonest.

The more time I spend on social media (Twitter and beyond), the more I'm convinced our society is in deep shit.

Not all pithy thoughts can be compressed to 140 characters no matter how hard you try.

If the meek inherit our earth, it’s because the strong have abandoned them.

I'm more convinced than ever that "unwired" has become the new "organic".

TV news interviews are great reality programming. There's nothing as dumb as an "expert" if you get them off their area of expertise.

If it's dangerous to talk to yourself, it's probably even more dangerous to listen.

Good design can never rescue bad strategy. When did pretty uniforms last win a war?

If your competition sells cheaper, it's called "dumping". If you sell cheaper, it's called "supply side optimization".

America's infatuation with reality TV suggests that many viewers can no longer differentiate between talent and celebrity. Scary!

False friendships are the emotional downside of most current social media offerings.

I love teaching. I learn so much.

Do arbitrary rules really deserve more than arbitrary compliance?

Ahh. What would the world be like without rhetorical questions?

Packaging designers should be forced to clean and organize a larder once in a while. Valuable lessons to be learned.

If I always knew what I was doing, I'd never learn anything. A little adversity can be a really good thing.

Changing the world is easy. Changing it for the positive is the real challenge. That's because no one agrees on what's good.

If you think you can, you can. If you think you can't, you're right.

Still trying to change the world, but I'm more and more convinced that the world would prefer that I just butt out.

Pitting UX against IA is like having your toolbox pick a fight with your wrench. UX is a cognitive container for a variety of skills.

How come "altruistic" is never a value word for companies? Sometimes you've gotta do stuff simply because it's the right thing to do.

Words of wisdom: Don't burn your bridges before you come to them.

Looking for statistics to confirm my fear that the idiots now officially outnumber those of us who know what we're doing.

I'm frustrated that there are so many folks in the UX business who are famous just for being famous, not for any work they've ever done.

Call yourself an expert? Do you really have 10,000 hours of experience, or just one hour, repeated 10,000 times?

Are you passionate or provocative? Passion comes from the heart. But most provocation seems to stem from ego.

Rules are created when people take advantage of that which is unwritten.

If content is king, is context the kingdom?

Bailouts have become the back-button of the financial industries.

How long is "new media" new? Are we now working with "middle-aged media"?

Jakob Nielsen talks about designing his tweets: http://bit.ly/KLmzf. This is what most people call "editing".

The blogosphere is the Gong Show of Generation Y.

“Thought leadership” means thinking about a community of practice, not thinking about leadership.

No discernable correlation between your popular searches and your popular pages? You have a serious information architecture issue to solve.

Never judge a book by the taste of the binding.

If you want to be a thought leader, it’s best to start your career by fine-tuning your thinking, not your PR.

"Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer." But does that really mean you have to put up with their silly twitter-chatter?

Words to live by: be nice to the people you meet on the way up. They're often the same ones you meet on the way down.

The biggest threat to the future of the web is the neighbor's kid, who is programming crap sites for legit businesses using FrontPage.

Maybe we designers ask too many questions. Maybe we threaten potential clients. Maybe folks don't care if their website contributes to their business.

I'm seeing incredibly incompetent shops getting web work while really talented folks are out of work. What are the idiots doing right?

Responses to yesterday's Twitter denial of service attack lead me to believe that some folks have serious addiction problems.

Ultimately, insistence on formalized processes and standardized deliverables strives not to collect answers but to obliterate questions.

The sooner our pitches reflect the fact that most business decisions are made emotionally and not rationally, the sooner we will get rich.

Political correctness is just another way to hide prejudice behind euphemism. I far prefer straight talk and honesty.

UX certification? Reminds me of Groucho Marx’s comment: “I wouldn’t want to be a member of a club that would accept me as a member.”

Gonna take flak from the American consultants...but...IMO ”It depends” is just an unnecessary click in the verbal clickstream.

Mashups can be SOOOO ugly. Here’s a new acronym: TIDE (Tight Integration of Diverse Experiences) Goes nicely with AJAX.

Amateurish SEO drives me mad. Keyword density is the worst fairydust of all time. Fact: you cannot bore people into buying something.

Again, if you like these, please follow me for a couple of weeks @elreiss and see if I continue to live up to expectations. If not, that’s cool – I’m not really out to build a huge follower base, but to experiment a bit with the “content is king” notion. And please remember to “unfollow” if my tweets don’t contribute in some useful way to your own life and work.

Hey, you can also comment right here! Let me know what YOU think about Twitter.

Some thoughts on immortality

22.08.2009 | Author: Eric Reiss
My grandfather had a long, good life. He had a successful professional career. He was respected by his peers. He was married for 50 years and raised a fine family.

Carl E. Zibold died in 1965.

Apart from my vague childhood recollections, I have little to remember him by – a few photos and his wallet (I have no idea how I happen to have his wallet). The wallet is a curious microcosm – a driver’s license, an insurance card, a lodge membership, and professional accreditations – the paper ephemera of a distant era.

As is often the case, after a generation or two, folks from the pre-digital age are quietly forgotten, even though they may have impacted on many lives. The artifacts are few, the memories faded. There are only five living family members who ever met my grandfather.

We continue to experiment with social-networking tools, yet I can’t help but wonder what effect this will have on our own “immortality”. Will our digital personae last longer than a human generation or two? Will we be remembered beyond a small family circle? If so, how? And why?

Will we be judged on our number of LinkedIn connections? Or friends on Facebook?

Will we be remembered because of our profile on Crowdvine? Or our musings on Twitter?

What legacy will we leave?

Perhaps some of us will achieve wider recognition because we left the world a better place. Because we contributed actively to moving mankind in a positive direction. Because we understood that personal priorities must ultimately sync with the greater good.

Perhaps immortality depends on the value of our ideas, not the breadth of our network.

What do you think? What DO you think?



"Hi Grandpa! Welcome to cyberspace. Who knows where we'll end up? I miss you."