Facing Unexpected Situations, aka Learning

June 6, 2011 § 2 Comments

Recently, I was faced with this: it was one of my first days at my internship. My job was to explore the existing Livefyre communities, read (and read and read, then read some more) blog posts, and comment. Basically, I was popping up in the communities and establishing my presence. I’m quite happy to do this; like I mentioned in my last post, I really enjoy connecting with people, and hope they’re happy to connect with me. Plus, I just plain love reading and writing. These were my main tasks, but I’d also installed TweetDeck (awesome, by the way), and I was monitoring my Livefyre stream. So far, I’d been contacting people I figured I could handle, aka the recent Livefyre converts who I could welcome, and tell them to please contact us if they needed support. Normally they said a quick thank you and went on their way. The other day, someone asked me a support question right away, directly over Twitter. Uh oh.

I thought for about half of a minute. I was pretty sure I knew the answer to his question, but what would happen if I was actually wrong? I did what I thought was best: I responded with what I thought was correct, and copied one of my bosses on the tweet to inform of the dialogue and possible support issue. The guy who tweeted at me originally didn’t contact me again (no support issue! Huzzah!), but I found out that I shouldn’t have copied my boss on the tweets. Enter my introduction to Using Twitter for a Business Etiquette. I’d only previously used Twitter for delivering information directly related to a brand, not holding conversations with customers right then and there (which probably should have been happening, I know). I apologized to my boss, regretted what I’d done for about half of a second, and moved on. My boss (the unbeatable Jeremy Hicks) assured me that I didn’t have to apologize; I was learning! Well then. I sat there for a moment and thought about that regret that had just touched me: why was I feeling regret over an honest mistake (we hadn’t been briefed on customer support officially yet)? I’d did what I’d thought was best in that moment, and no one had been harmed.

Lesson learned, Jeremy. 🙂 Education: 1, Anne: 1. Everyone gets a point on that one.

I tend to overreact to situations. Maybe it’s the perfectionist in me hollering to get loose and make everything incredibly clean and perfect, or maybe it’s just the fact that I hate being wrong. In a situation like this, a year or two ago I probably would have been mortified. It’s nice to see that I’ve either relaxed about life, or maybe I’m just maturing and learning to let certain things slide. Maybe this is my body’s way of saying “hey, stop stressing out! You’re killing me here!” Either way, I’m glad  that I’ve changed. I’m sure I’ll still be properly mortified if I need to be (say something truly awful and horrible happens and it’s all my fault), but at least I’ve kept the little things — the mistakes that lead to an education — in perspective.

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§ 2 Responses to Facing Unexpected Situations, aka Learning

  • If and when I ever come across a customer service issue on Twitter, I reply as soon as I see the Tweet with something like:

    “Can you link me to the URL so that I can see the issue?”

    “What do you mean exactly? Can you give me a little more info?”

    “One second, let me look into this for you…”

    If I don’t have an answer within 2-3 minutes. I’ll reply back with something like:

    “Can I have a good email address for you so I can open a Support Ticket for this?”

    This way, I’m being responsive, and giving myself time to look into the issue before having an affirmative response. I can step away and ask a team member for help before replying to the customer.

    Anyway, I don’t think you did anything wrong. Hope my comment gives you some ideas 🙂

    • Anne says:

      Richard, thanks for reading! I’m getting the hang of writing quick, informative, polite replies on Twitter — not always the easiest thing to do in 140 characters! You gave me some great ideas. 🙂

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