Business Relationships Yield Value

The other day, I went from being so frustrated with Disqus (the blog commenting system I use on []), to being very much happy that I’d built a relationship with the company, and with one of their main voices, @Giannii.

Disqus commenting platform

I had a problem. I was receiving several hundred spam comments on my blog. It wasn’t some kind of software glitch. I’m just lucky and lots and lots of people were directing their spam to my comments section. I was beside myself, being that I’d had to go back and manually delete over a thousand comments.

Giannii and the team knew I was frustrated, and that I was starting to get a bit whiny on Twitter (I’m willing to admit it). Instead of pointing me to a FAQ or a how-to video, Giannii very calmly walked me through the two things I had to do differently to fix my problem:

  • Moderate any comments with a link in the comment.
  • Use the restricted words list.

Once you see those options, and understand them, it’s clear that’s all I had to do. This would’ve saved me HOURS over the last several weeks, I should point out, had I dug in and found these options. But I’m not that way. And honestly, neither are most users of products and services. The percentage of people who read the manual is a lot lower than the percentage of people who get frustrated fast and complain even faster. (Wish it weren’t so, but I challenge you to tell me that’s not the environment we’re in.)

How Relationships Yield Value

Giannii and the Disqus team act as trust agents by talking people through their issues and getting them into better working order. This, in turn, keeps me on their platform and lets me promote both the individuals (hi, Daniel!) and the team overall for their efforts.

Customer retention is a calculable ROI, as is acquisition.

The next time you need to provide another proof point to the boss that social media relationship management matters, think about moments like the above. I’m a supporter and fan of Disqus because they use social media tools to get to the bottom of issues, and because they have a strong customer-minded focus. That’s bankable value.

(And before you pull the “yeah, but you’re Chris Brogan” line, go back and search their tweet streams. The Disqus people help everyone equally.)

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