Withstanding a DDoS attack can be quite the experience. On one hand you’re dealing with servers that are being flooded by malicious code; on the other you have customers who are flooding you with angry calls.
You’re caught right in the middle. The health of your business relies on your ability to survive both.
You do that by hiring and retaining exceptional staff who will be able to come through on both sides – repairing the firewalls and infrastructure so you can be back up and running, and repairing your reputation with customers so they can be back in business.
Register.com is my domain registration company. Last week I was trying to connect with them to get clarification on a charge. I tried them several times with no success.
Then I thought of posting the question on Twitter to see if anyone knew anything. Think about that, in the past I would have probably run a Google search. Today my first search filter is that of the community on Twitter – no wonder the rumors about Google buying Twitter abound.
That’s when I learned of the DDoS attack. I waited another day. I tried again and struck gold – a live customer service rep. I’m writing about the experience because what impressed me most about the conversation was that there was a lot of listening going on – I wasn’t doing all the talking, and he wasn’t throwing the book of rules at me.
In this day and age, I’d consider that win/win, especially since we came to a mutual understanding about what I needed to be happy and what he could do on his side.
Companies can get lazy and prefer to listen online, where often that’s all they’re doing – monitoring the conversation. Or perhaps they’re taking action in some specific instances where the issue escalates thanks to influentials and sneezers.
Is there any doubt in your mind that when Peter Shankman (this was an example Peter gave at the SxSWi panel) or Gary Vaynerchuk (this was a video Gary recorded) talk about a company, the company pays attention?
Then there is the rest of us – the “just a customer”s. What we experience is the regular treatment. Kudos go to those companies that can make it pleasant and productive. The company’s culture and training go a long way at educating staff on the importance of those conversations.
But I think at the end of the day it comes down to the single interaction with individuals. Do they take initiative? Are they listening? Do they hide behind rules? Are they helpful? Today at Fast Company expert blog we talk about how to show your customers you’re listening, even when they might not be.
UPDATE: the reason for my call was to ask them, politely, to take off that horrible banner they put in my blog when you don't type "www" before the domain name. They charge a fee of $49 per year and if you don't pay, they put the banner there. The rep assured me the banner was taken out. I had to call again to have it taken care of.