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I was lucky enough to meet Beth Harte at PodCamp Philly this year. I sat in on a couple of Beth’s sessions and have been following her blog ever since.

Beth wrote an interesting article on Social Media In Action on her blog that piqued my interest and really got me to thinking. She noted how she had a couple of problems with Best Buy after a purchase and through Twitter she was able to get it all figured out.

Stories like Beth’s are becoming increasingly common much to the delight of the companies using the arena, Social Media Advocates and the chagrin of those who have no clue what it’s all about.

It never ceases to amaze me how Social Media has made something as inorganic as the Internet into such a people based community.

I’m loving how it’s forcing big business to behave like the old fashioned ‘mom and pop’ stores, really bringing them down to… our level.

Large corporations are once again realizing that customers and reputation really do matter, they’re listening to people, they have people who listen to people and people to take care of people.

The point isn’t that Beth could have/would have gotten onto Twitter and slammed BestBuy so that her 1700 follower could have known her disgruntlement.
Beth was able to communicate directly, with an actual person, through an easily accessible medium to resolve an issue. The fact that that person has some influence in Best Buy Corporately makes things even better!

Kudos to the companies who are going back to a customer level and have people who can usurp the ‘jobsworths’ on the lower levels who are merely qualified to not make decisions and place blame for bad service on policy or or branch inabilities.

I don’t know how many times I’ve been DM’d or @’d (can you call it that) on Twitter in a cry for help (business or otherwise) and surprised the person on the other end with a response, and a swift response at that.

To big business I say; Talk to your customers. Ask what they want and help them. You started somewhere too ya know.

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Read Beth’s story here

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Author: Andy Quayle

Andy was born in the Isle of Man and currently lives in Pittsburgh.
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