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  • Interesting post Karthik! Beyond the specific cases of Mast Kalandar and Hippo/Aliva, I have a general comment:

    You ask, if brands can repeat these actions for all customers? Certainly they cannot make these sweet gestures to each and every customer. They have a selection criterion which is what is a bit of concern. Do you think something like this would have happened if the tweeter had 20 odd followers? Do you think a brand would have been influenced by his tweet then?

    On the contrary, what potentially worries a brand is the network impact of a tweet when made by someone with over 1000 odd followers. This is where brands start thinking!

    • I wonder why that selection criterion should be a cause for concern. It is not a perfect world when it comes to customer service – customer engagement shouldn’t be confused with customer service, in any case. If it comes to service, *ideally* the brand should invest in every customer, but when it comes to engagement, I suppose they can prioritize their efforts towards those from whom they could gain more…in the form of amplification of positive word of mouth, appreciation etc. It is the PR equivalent of opting to do an interview with Times of India instead of a local, city newspaper.

  • ksrikrishna

    as a shameless fan of Mast Kalandar’s food and as a friend of the founders, I followed both your tweet trail and the subsequent response on Twitter, so your follow through on your blog is indeed icing on the cake. One important point, you allude to in passing, is a quandary I’ve faced even when the founders are not my friends – namely do I as a customer tweet about a service deficiency first (tempted so many times) or do I give the folks a chance to address it.

    Of course clearly there are folks, such as Airtel, who after even a fourth (or nth call) fail to mention that the broadband is down in an entire apartment complex and so their pledges of sending someone to fix it right away are actually lies at worst and misinformed service agents at best, who (Airtel, not their service agents necessarily) deserve a public flogging (which I am yet to deliver 🙁 )

    To the other point @twitter-730823:disqus makes, I agree with you engaging, at least with the (key) influencers is a way to show that brands listen, which is a good place to start.

    • Have addressed that point in a different post – Whine flu

      The crux: Public whining is my last resort, usually, since it says something about both parties involved – the brand and myself, as a person trying to badger a brand by taking an individual complaint public without giving the brand an opportunity to address it via a direct communication channel. If they don’t do even after telling them one-to-one, I guess we resort to it as a last resort.