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Posts Tagged ‘twitter

Twitter is a great place to listen to what customers are saying about you and your service, online and real time. Go here and type in the company you want to listen to. After seeing this tweet (the micromessage in Twitter world) I decided to do the search myself and see what’s the world (India) saying about Tata Indicom. Here is what I found out –

“Finally got cell no of tata indicom service head. 3 days. said i was cancelling. now he says someone will visit by 1 tom. shameless really”

Day 3 of broadband outage from Tata Indicom. working on a dialup is just so frustrating”

Broadband finally up…had to escalate issue to Tata Indicom Nodal Officer…but good follow through after escalation.”

“Tata Indicom large file downloads being interrupted. No ack or resp to my mail after 48 hrs. Cannot even transfer my backup files anymore.”

Good experience with Tata Indicom Internet for past 2 years..unfortunately, it is getting bad..internet down for 72 hrs and no followup -:(“

We will be initiating consumer [….] against a TATA Indicom Tele services in Pune,one staff is acting as govt office, red tape..”

This are in addition to some kind words here and there. I follow the economist Atanu Dey on his blog. He also seems to have the unkind words as reflected above. Here is a sample from his blog

Not only do you get put on hold, but while on hold they have the most astonishingly irritating music that they play at an ear-shattering volume, and interrupt it every few seconds to announce, “Tata Indicom, the best way to connect to the Internet”, “We know your time is valuable and appreciate the time you have taken to call us”, “Please continue to hold as our customer service executives will be with you shortly” ….

At midnight, Tata Indicom terminated my internet connection. I had renewed my subscription three days ago and yet the connection was terminated at midnight. I spent the last half hour on the phone arguing with their customer service people. The facts are clear and agreed to by Tata Indicom. They did receive payment for the renewal of the service three days ago. Yet they terminated my connection.

We all learn that customer service is paramount and “graahak devta hota hai”. However here is a collection of some 10 – 15 voices from the web that are complaining about the service from a service provider and something clearly emerges that in the past week the service has been particularly problematic.

But playing the skeptic, here are the questions that I am left without any answers –

  1. Is this problem strong enough to warrant a Tata Indicom presence on a social media platform (similar to the likes of @comcastcares on twitter)?
  2. Are these numbers large enough to accept that there is a problem in Tata Indicom’s service?
  3. Is it relevant and necessary, in India, to have a social media strategy in place YET?
  4. Has the web matured in India that companies have to sit up and take notice?

However Tata Indicom being an internet connection provider, doesn’t it make sense for them to monitor the web for such “experiences”. Had they done it this and this would not have happened. That’s three clients (including me). The bad news is that bad word spreads and the good news is that the good word also spread.

“ouch.nd here i was planning on a tata indicom conn.dang” – One potential client lost

they just suck big time. looking for an option. need 2 MBPS unlimited bandwidth at least. currently paying Rs.4000/pm. Suggestions?” – One existing client lost

Customer equity for taking, anyone, Tata Indicom are you listening?



I know there are lot of brands which are really using social media (or rather tools of web2.0), but these two examples highlight the difference in the way the medium is used for its inherent value.

Story – 1 (Outside India)

Brand – Pepsi

Context – Logo redesign

So the story goes that Pepsi is trying to redesign its logo and what does it do? It creates a Friendfeed room where the social media A Listers, and the long tailers, can comment. It also boxes filled with Pepsi cans(3 different boxes; tracing their “Can” design evolution) to A Listers in social media. So what happens –

The choice to make it exclusive, the undeniable marketing story of seeing the 100 year brand logo evolution of one of the largest brands in the world on a series of cans (which most marketing bloggers would care about on some level), and the generally positively reviewed new logo means that Pepsi will probably get exactly what they wanted from this campaign … for a handful of marketing bloggers who collectively reach a large percentage of the marketing community to all be talking about Pepsi’s new logo. – Rohit Bhargava

I think this is an excellent field to test the waters about the  revamp in design. The friendfeed discussion and the A Lister recruitment is good idea on two counts –

  1. Word of mouth from the A-Listers (influencers) themselves
  2. Community involvement, feedback from the community and the influencers

Here is what the new logo looks like –



The New Pepsi Can

The New Pepsi Can


Image credit – Rohit Bhargava

Story – 2 (India)

Brand – Virgin Mobile

Context – Virgin Mobile Launch

Virgin Mobile is on twitter, I find out to my utter surprise. I peruse through their updates to sense what kind of interaction is going on. Apart from the regular “new promo”, “Sir Richard Branson doing <thisactivity><withthiscelebrity> sort of tweets, do I see regular interaction with the community ?

My answer would be; “an honest attempt”. The person in background tries to keep the core of the brand, which is thinking differently or think hatke, alive (sometimes sounding silly, corny) like –

  1. What would T9 dictionary be in Virgin Mobile?
  2. What is your opinion about Virginity.. oops Virgin Mobile Think Hatke Ads..?

However the question that I am concerned with, is the reach ? The Pepsi story has the A Listers in them but the Virgin Mobile story does not (in addition to the fact that it’s in India and that too on Twitter). Virgin Mobile seems to have all-encompassing social media presence in Facebook, Flickr, Youtube as well which is really surprising.

Do the numbers really add up? I think no (Since March 2008, for 100 updates, it means JUST 3 tweets per week). I am just happy to see brand:that too in India, trying out web2.0. I don’t know whether they have a dedicated person from the organization sitting behind these avenues or is it some retailer doing this (in that case it becomes all the more intriguing).

I still don’t know how monetizable “Twitter” is but it is sure a great way to connect to the customers.

Want proof, I got three of’em.

Proof 1 – From a guy whom I follow in Twitter

Proof 2 – This happened to me. The $840 Million online shoe retailer, Zappos, had a promotional website  which had spelling mistakes which I pointed out here and tweeted about. So what happens is –

They start following me on Twitter.


How Zappos tracks Twitter

How Zappos tracks Twitter



the website is rectified.

Proof 3 – This also happened to me. I am a frequent user of URL shortening service called cligs. I reported about its downtime on twitter and “baah” they send me back an update. That’s really cool.

EndGame – Proof 1 was from a real tech geek blogger who IS NOT in the long tail. All other proofs are from a web user who IS in the long tail, as normal as it can get. If companies like these are tracking what people like me are saying then I say “more power” to them.

For MBAs (hopefully, soon, unless the powers-be decide to flunk me) like me this is a personal lesson in customer experience management.


When Jonathan Fields spotted William Shatner waiting to board a JetBlue flight at New York’s JFK in May, he did what any other self-respecting blogger would do. He popped open his Apple (AAPL) Mac, connected to the Web using the free Wi-Fi provided by JetBlue, and used Twitter to share the sighting with pals. “JetBlue terminal,” Fields wrote on the blog service that lets users send short messages of 140 characters with status updates to groups of friends. “William Shatner waiting in pinstripe suit and shades to board flight to Burbank. Why’s he flying JetBlue? Free, maybe?”

But he was caught off guard by what happened next. Within 10 seconds he got an e-mail informing him that JetBlue (JBLU) was following him on Twitter.

This is from BW’s write up on the impact of twitter.

Should I say CRM?


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