Corina Manea is one of the many wonderful people I’ve met through this blog over the years. And the best part? She’s from Spain! Yet another example of technology connecting like-minded people from across the world. Corina has thoughtfully commented on my blog many times in the last couple years, so I thought I’d give her the floor today. She has an interesting–and inspiring–story to tell about her experience with Buffer.
When I first found out about Buffer (few months ago), it was by chance, but I liked what I read about it and I said I´d give it a shot. So, I signed up for the free option and started using it for my social profiles. I did not expect to be so easy to use and my first question (to myself, of course) was: “That’s it? That’s all I have to do to schedule my posts?”
One day I discovered I had problems to login and I decided to write to Buffer and see what they had to say. What I did not expect was they would answer within 5 minutes from sending the email.
I enclose the answer received, so you have a better idea of what I am talking about:
Needless to say, that after exchanging a couple of emails, my problem was solved.
What stuck with me was the absolute excellent customer service Buffer has. And it all starts with the way they see themselves. From the “happiness hero” to the “weekend warrior” or “android hacker” and even “life saver”, the roles in the company are 100% client oriented. They are not there to sell, they are there to help you, the customer.
Now please show me another company that has this approach! I am not saying they are the only ones, I am saying they are among few that have understood how to thrive in customer service.
You might say: they are a tech company, they can do anything. Wrong! They are a company that put the client first, a company that has a message to deliver and found a unique way to do so, along with an outstanding customer service.
Someone once told me: the “x” product is not cool enough to communicate. Well, you are the storyteller, it’s in your hands to find ingenious ways to communicate an uncool product or service. It’s up to you to make people fall in love with your product and your company. But you know what: you have to fall in love with the product/service/company first. If you don´t believe in it, nobody will. And Buffer believes in their mission to help people spread the news in social media.
Buffer sums it all: they have a great product, easy to use (we all want those, don´t we?!), they are a cool company and found an innovative way to communicate their message out there.
I believe Buffer sets a trend soon to be followed by many: put your client first, put your employees first and everything else will follow.
Every message you get from them whether it is an answer to your emails or from using the app, are positive, personalized and meant to cheer you up. Tell me it doesn´t make you smile the message bellow!
You feel good when receiving this kind of messages, you feel “heard” and probably most important, you feel ready to got to buffer app and schedule some posts.
Customer care, whether you work in PR, tech, accounting or railway (you get the point) is the most important part of a company and the most undervalued nowadays. No matter how great is your product, if you are not able to communicate well and give outstanding customer care service, you’ll loose big time.
What Buffer does different is it personalizes and humanizes the relationship with the client. From every email or message you receive, you are treated as a human being, not as a number, not as a machine and, above all, they really put in the effort to solve your problem and quickly.
I always say that if you care about your customer you put in the effort, you make that extra step to make him/her happy and willing to come back or recommend you.
Treat people with respect and genuine kindness and you will win them forever. They will gladly do stuffs for you. This is pure psychology. Whether you are in PR or customer care you can apply it on a daily basis.
Way to go Buffer for taking customer care service to the next level!
Corina Manea is a Madrid based PR professional with more than 10 years experience in banking and communications. Passionate about PR, social media and traveling, she blogs at Nuts About PR (her blog), is a contributor for Everything PR, covering Communication and PR news from Spain, and travel news on Argophilia.
Over the weekend, you may have seen the tweets/posts about a number of people’s Buffer accounts getting hacked. Here’s just one example of the many tweets I started seeing around noon on Saturday:
Big problem, right? Would Buffer respond over the weekend? How quickly would they be able to fix the hack? And how loudly would the legion of Buffer users complain?
Turns out, Buffer was all over this. ALL OVER THIS.
Within an hour (by my watch) Buffer had responded on Twitter and Facebook (the two primary platforms of use).
They also had a running blog post with more specific updates–including a timeline–up on Saturday afternoon as well.
The post detailed the timeline and gave specific guidance around how to reconnect your accounts (with screen grabs–which was a nice add).
You’ll also notice the post had 175-plus comments (as of Sun. afternoon)–many of which were supporting the complimenting Buffer for how they managed the situation.
And, the supportive comments weren’t just limited to the blog post. Many, many Buffer users tweeted and posted their support throughout the crisis.
I thought it was also interesting to see Buffer CEO Joel Gascoigne chiming in regularly with many apologies and admitting fault–something you don’t see from companies all that often.
Oh, and they also kept people abreast via email over the weekend, too.
Again, Joel and the Buffer team updated its users this morning with another email. Note, he apologizes TWICE in the email, provides links to pages you can visit to make the fixes, and a link to the blog post with a running list of updates.
So, what did we learn from the Buffer “crisis” over the weekend?
Buffer was all over this–from the get-go. Within an hour, they had a tweet, Facebook post and blog post up detailing the situation. Now that’s responding at the speed of the consumer.
What really helped Buffer the most through all this was the tremendous amount of goodwill they had clearly built of the last three years. I can’t remember how many positive tweets or Facebook posts I saw from people on Saturday and Sunday from Buffer users. Instead of frustration and anger, what you saw was a community trying to support a product they use as a part of their daily work lives.
Probably a big reason for that goodwill was the manner in which Buffer approached this crisis from the outset. They quickly apologized and admitted fault. And, they worked hard (over the weekend, keep in mind) to rectify the problem (which they did Sat. evening). And, again, you saw the CEO and founder himself out in front of this apologizing up and down the line–even when he really didn’t need to. I thought that really went a long ways with people.
Community management matters.
Again, Buffer was all over this. Now, admittedly their product is heavily connected to social media and community-manager types. But, that’s also what makes their response execution so impressive. They responded to HUNDREDS of tweets over the 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday when the hack took place. And, they continued to respond well after the hack had been fixed. Again, that sense of community REALLY helped Buffer out when it needed it most.
Integrated responses matter.
Buffer didn’t just rely on one channel to share information during this crisis–they had a multi-channel strategy. Really, they had to. They had to community manage via the two major platforms they’re involved with (Twitter, Facebook) and they used their blog as a place to explain details of the hack, the timeline and the fix in detail.