Use the Interwebs to Get Your Way

Posted in Business, People by Harsha on December 4, 2011

To those who think they don’t have a voice (at least in the United States), think again. Christopher Null penned this great how-to in WIRED’s recent issue. As my part, I wanted to assure you that it is neither impractical, nor difficult to do what he says. The proof of the pudding is in the eating, as the old saying goes, and so here are a few examples of what Chris is talking about.

I have three great examples to share about how I got three big companies to listen to me. It took almost no effort (considering what I would have had to do in pre-internet days) coupled with a bit of social media savvy. My successes included Chris’s Twitter suggestion, in addition to using email and my blog as a way to gripe and to get what I wanted.

The first and my most memorable experience was with Bank of America. I wrote a few posts about it, so read the before first, then a quick update during the resolution process, and after my problem was resolved. I got a cool $50 gift card to out of it. By reading the posts, you can pick up a very easy way of harnessing the power of “we” to get your way.

The second experience was with Best Buy. I have not blogged about it yet because it sort of moved really quickly, via Twitter. If you follow me, then I think you should be able to see my tweet from 2010. Essentially, I did what Christopher suggests in his article. Briefly, this is what happened:

I had purchased a TV from a Best Buy store where the sales representative assured me it was Wi-Fi enabled. But of course, when I got home, unwrapped and installed the TV, it turned out to be Wi-Fi “unabled”! I had plugged in a Samsung wireless dongle as it is known, to the new TV, which did not work. So I re-wrapped the TV and returned it. But I ended up leaving the dongle inserted into the TV and realized it after the fact. When I called the store, they checked and said that they did not find it still plugged into the side of the TV. Now mind you, I am a “silver level” member (or something like that) at Best Buy because I had spent over $2500 with them in one year. I took to Twitter with my gripes, used @bestbuy and lo and behold! I quickly heard from one of their social media watchers. She did some investigating, called the store etc., and then decided to send me a Best Buy gift card worth $80 to make it up to me.

The third experience was one that my wife had with DSW Shoes. She had recently tried to use a $30 DSW coupon on their website, but it did not work. The coupon was due to expire that same day, so she emailed them to complain. Guess what happened next? She got that coupon back, in addition to another $20 coupon that had expired a couple of weeks earlier. In addition, they sent her another $10 coupon in the mail with a letter of apology. To top it all, she received additional regularly scheduled coupons bringing her quite a good haul.

So thank you Chris for not only a great reason for me to restart my blog, but for also providing readers with a realistic how-to on getting one’s way with big companies


Integration Experiment

Posted in Reviews by Harsha on March 2, 2009

I have been trying to integrate my online life by marrying a stubborn together with twitter. The idea is that I’d rather have you read this blog thru twitter than an RSS feed.

That makes more sense, right? Tweet your feedback.

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Twitter Experiment

Posted in Big Thought by Harsha on February 27, 2009

I find Twittering is easier than blogging via WordPress.

The 140 character limit puts enough pressure on me to write something meaningful that is consumed as quickly as it is created. That is all the time both you and I have. The challenge is to know how to squeeze the vastness of a thought into 140 characters.

With more and more people following me on Twitter, it doesn’t make any sense for me to continue to syndicate my blog through RSS. I think Twitter is an easier way for you to read my content and for me to get to know you better.

This is a relevant lesson. Better to be precise in your communication than to be verbose. That is how you brand your company. In simple short sweet words.

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What the Twitter!?

Posted in 1324 by Harsha on February 23, 2009

Gawker blogger Owen Thomas says “We Twitter to reassure ourselves that we are alive.”

A clinical psychologist interviwed by Times Online and quoted in the post says “Twittering stems from a lack of identity. It’s a constant update of who you are, what you are, where you are. Nobody would Twitter if they had a strong sense of identity.”

I’ve heard anywhere from 1 million (a little dated) to 6 million. So I do not think that group is reflective of anything significant. Yes, Twitter is cool. But it is mostly used evangelize an idea or a product or service. Another distribution channel one that I’d compare to RSS in spirit. It moves information quickly from me device to you. I do not believe it can live as a stand-alone application. It’s like push-to-talk. Eventually, you have to merge with someone who offers much more.

If you want to analyze the sense of identity or lack thereof, then I think Facebook is a far better example than Twitter.

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