Proactive Support — Something from the comments

In my ongoing efforts to bolster Lenovo’s reputation among customers and prospective customers by fixing blogged problems and beefs about our products, our services, and our purchase/delivery process, I have built up a homemade, but very effective “listening post” using Technorati searches on “Lenovo” and “ThinkPad” RSS’d into Bloglines. That’s backed up by BuzzMetrics and BuzzLogic, and so far has been very effective at identifying cries of pain and unhappiness out there in Blogistan.

A week ago Friday, while shopping at my favorite Asian grocery store in Boston (Super 88) my cellphone rang. An unhappy customer had ordered a ThinkPad and was getting mixed signals about the delivery time. This is a common but difficult situation for Lenovo, one that the company is focused on fixing, but for now, remains a crucial pain point in our customer satisfaction.

I took the customer’s information, passed it onto our customer satisfaction team, and by the end of this week the customer had the product in his hands.

Then, this morning, as I ran my daily scan of Lenovo and Thinkpad hits, I found this post on Shel Israel’s Naked Conversations. That post led me to the original Shel post about his issues with his ThinkPad last May, where I posted my cell phone in the comments in reply to another reader’s plea for some way to bypass the usual machinery and get to me directly. Here’s Shel’s post:

“It’s ironic.  Despite my publicly proclaimed faith in my Lenovo Thinkpad, I’ve been feeling this angst in my belly as one, techcentric CEO after another these days shows off their new Mac Pros.  When using the Parallel Software, it runs OSX and Windows pretty close to seamlessly.

But two events have occurred today that will stop me from straying from my Thinkpad monogamy. First, Manish  Hira left a comment here, showing that he too received a new computer after registering complaints about the one he had and the support that at first he was not getting.”

I followed the link in Shel’s current post to this old one from June. There, the user, who apparently found my cell phone number while googling for some relief from Lenovo, had posted about his order and his dissatisfaction. That comment did not get detected by my usual scans. Shel even posted:

“Hey, Dave Churbuck! If you still read this blog, it sounds like a great time to jump in!”

Fortunately, the user took the time to cal me and was taken care of, and then was decent enough to post a comment with Shel noting his satisfaction, but I am very concerned that whatever blog search I deploy is not going to be looking at comments. I know I can subscribe to comments from a specific blog, but I need insights into random comment threads, not just hot ones like Shel’s.

I’ll take this up with the folks at BuzzLogic, which I’ve been beta-testing. Comment search is the next challenge and I hope they can meet it. Any suggestions from those more experienced in blog search, please weigh in.

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