Robert Scoble knows customer service.

I have to admit that though I have heard of Robert Scoble for a while, I only subscribed to his blog a few weeks ago. The last day or so he (indirectly) talked about customer service.

His post a few days ago mentioned that the spam prevention software Akismet (which I also utilize at Service Untitled) had gone down. I also noticed that I had a lot more spam than usual, but I thought I was doing something wrong or had broken something.

The next morning he posted that Akismet was still down and that someone at the tech-conference (I think that is what it is) Foocamp should wake up Automattic’s (the company that makes Akismet and owns WordPress.com) CEO, Toni Schneider. Apparently, he got up and got Akismet fixed.

Scoble then posted saying why he loved Automattic. His points are valid. It is generally hard to get a CEO or any employee in any company to fix anything outside of normal working hours.

I am not sure if Automattic posted an update about what was wrong, what they were doing, etc. (explained here and here ), but if they didn’t, they should have. Akismet has a big impact on a lot of blogs and spam on blogs is a gigantic problem. I am also not sure what the company’s tech support department did to update people as they sent in complaints, but I’m hoping they provided updates as they had them. Again, if they didn’t they should have.

I’ve used WordPress for a while and am very happy with it. I don’t think I have ever had a problem that has been WordPress’s fault. The only thing that bugs me (aka frustrates me beyond belief) about WordPress is the text editor for writing/editing posts. A lot of people also seem to like WordPress and the WordPress.com service seems very good as well. They are doing a good job.

Scoble makes another good point: watch what your customers are saying in the blogosphere. It makes a big difference. Blogs are important and companies have to watch what their customers are complaining about. Watching the blogosphere, reading emails, etc. can give product designers, executives, and everyone else can gives companies a good idea of what is going on.

Scoble has also compared bad customer service to great customer service. The company Scoble mentions as one that provides great customer (Printing for Less) seems to have a very similar concept to Headsets.com (talked about here). Take an ordinary product or service, add great customer service, and set yourself soar ahead of the competition. This is something that I will be talking about more this week. It is something that a lot of companies have been doing and a fascinating subject.

Stay tuned.

Edit: I found this post on Akismet’s blog. They did a good job.

Edit #2: Toni, the CEO of Automattic commented here (as at Service Untitled). I’m not sure how he found out about my post (maybe he heard of it, maybe he watches for the company’s name in Technorati, who knows?), but it was impressive regardless.

5 Responses to “Robert Scoble knows customer service.”

  1. Toni said:

    Aug 28, 06 at 5:11 pm

    I was going to point you to the post on the Akismet blog, but it looks like you already found it 🙂 Sorry about the downtime, and thanks for using WordPress and Akismet.

  2. Meikah said:

    Aug 29, 06 at 4:30 am

    Hi, Doug! I’m also using WordPress and Akismet. And yes, they’ve been very good, really. Glad to hear that they were able to fix Akismet. Before when I didn’t use Akismet, I got all sorts of spam. Now, I don’t get any at all! Good thing you blogged about this. Thanks!

  3. Service Untitled » Customer Service Profiles: Amazon.com, Printing for Less, and Starbucks said:

    Sep 08, 06 at 12:15 pm

    […] Printing For Less: I have never used Printing for Less, but I have heard a lot of good things about them (described here). The company seems to be extremely focused on customer service and has been very successful. […]

  4. Service Untitled » Scoble & Customer Service (again!) said:

    Oct 16, 06 at 12:06 pm

    […] I’ve talked about Robert Scoble’s views on customer service before. A few weeks ago, he made another post that talked about customer, particularly profiling customers. […]

  5. Service Untitled » Automattic and Customer Service (and an interview) - customer service and customer service experience blog said:

    Dec 08, 06 at 12:44 pm

    […] I’ve actually talked about Automattic before (mainly here) and how well they handled a wide scale outage with Akismet. I’ve heard good things about them from just reading the major blogs as well as from friends who use WordPress and Akismet on a wide scale. […]