Turning Lemons into Lemonade: Will It Work for BlackBerry?

Earlier this month, BlackBerry users were stunned by the massive service outage. RIM customers particularly in Europe and South America have experience difficulties in accessing messages and some email delays as well. Canadian-based RIM said that the huge outage was caused by a certain bug, most pundits speculate that RIM’s saturated email system is the culprit for the system to collapse. After RIM fixed the issue, they tried to make amends with their customers by offering them a wide-array of premium apps for free. Aside from that, customers will get a month’s trial of technical support service and current customers will get one month extension.

Free apps? Is this enough to easen the pains of the giant lemon that RIM threw at its billions of customers? Reality checked, damage has been done. While BlackBerry has been the only reliable and instrumental communications tool during the Virginia quake back in August, customers are an unforgiving lot, customers are to be pleased and not to be asked for sympathy. Remember Dell Hell? A couple of years ago, digital journalist Jeff Jarvis blogged about the lemon he encountered with a Dell laptop. Dell’s customer service was poor at that time, they ignored Jarvis. Little that they know that Jarvis’ snowball started rolling which eventually turned into an avalanche of online rants. And before Dell knew it, Dell’s blog post sparked a movement dubbed as “Dell Hell” which has every customer throwing their complaints about their Dell gadgets. Twitter was still an “infant” at that time, and Dell had no practical medium to use to address every complaint there is on the Web.

After months of enduring Dell Hell, the computer giant came up with Direct2Dell and IdeaStorm blog both of which aims to empower the customer while enhancing customer service. Arguably, Dell is the pioneer of social media command centers which puts a premium in customer-company collaboration. Even CEO Michael Dell started a blog so he can interact with customers by using his blog as a podium for his personal insights. Dell has redefined customer relations management by turning a lemon into a lemonade stand. So what can RIM learn from the Dell Hell ordeal? Check out the list below:

  • Admit your Fault

  • Customers don’t care if you’re the best mobile service provide in the planet. They always expect you to deliver, but most importantly, you have to admit if a flaw like a service outage happens. Ignore a customer’s rant and tons will walk away.

  • Offer a Consolation

  • People appreciate free stuff, but if you’re offering free stuff as a consolation, always assure that the freebie is useful enough to make them forget your mistake. Also, a consolation means that your apology is really sincere, and that makes a customer special.

  • Assess Consumer Behavior After A Lemony Event

  • Always remember your customer is either your bestfriend or worst enemy. But most importantly, customers are your walking ads so better to monitor what your customers are saying about your brand on social media networks.

  • Improve your Command Center

  • Establishing your accounts across social media platforms is very crucial. Let an experienced community manager handle your Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, a community manager that knows how to calm flashmobs knows how his social media tactics very well.

  • Make Sure It Won’t Happen Again

  • The title says it all, always evaluate what caused the error whether it’s on the technical area or a CRM issue. If you make the same mistake twice, then you are your own problem.