Years ago, I received a Kodak digital frame as a gift. It’s really nice. But until recently, I couldn’t get it to work.
I tried everything. Troubleshooting from the website. Uninstalling and reinstalling software. Calling customer service. I even tried contacting Kodak’s community manager via Twitter. Nothing. Couldn’t get it to work. Which I was very bummed about since I also have a Kodak camera and it’s awesome.
So a few weekends ago, in total frustration, I tweeted that I was tossing my frame in the trash. Lucky for me, one of my connections – Martha Finney – saw my tweet. If you don’t know Martha, she’s a writer / speaker / consultant on employee engagement and leadership communications. She writes good stuff, so do go check out her website.
Martha sends me a note that she might know someone who can help.
Enter Katie Wacek. She’s a former HR pro and fellow woman business owner. Her company, Sandia Mountain Marketing, provides strategic and tactical marketing expertise to small and medium sized companies, professional service firms and thought leaders throughout the United States. You can learn more by visiting her website.
Katie had a temporary job over the holidays at Kodak and learned about their products.
Martha introduced me to Katie who asks me the model of my digital frame and sends me some trouble shooting tips. Couple of emails later…viola! my digital frame is working just fine.
I wanted to share with you this story as a huge thank you to Katie for fixing my frame and to Martha for making the introduction. Neither one of them had to help me. But I’m so glad they did.
But in thinking about this story, I realized there are several business takeaways we should all remember:
Social media is a very powerful tool. You never know who is paying attention to you. And they are. That can be good – like in my case, Martha was paying attention and offered to help. But it should also give you pause to make sure you’re always coming across the way you want.
Social media marketing / branding / customer service does not belong to a single person. Hate to say it, but if I had put all of my faith in the community manager for Kodak, I would have trashed a perfectly good digital frame. Companies need to remember every employee can make an impression (and be sure to give them the training and tools to make a good one.)
Former employees are an important component to branding. We have a tendency to talk about candidates and current employees. But what about past employees? Are they still cheerleaders for your product or service? I wonder what employees would say on an exit interview if they were asked, “Now that you’ve worked here, would you still buy our product?”
Me and my digital frame are happy. But an interesting question for business still remains: If your current employees can’t keep a customer happy but a past employee saves the day, are you a branding genius or successful despite yourself? Hmmm…