A little something to learn about social networking

I've been having an issue with #Microsoft Corp.'s #Outlook e-mail client.
Oops. Sorry 'bout the hash tags. I've been spending way too much time on Twitter, apparently.
At least twice, and as many as four times, a day, Outlook would encounter a run-time error and shut down. This is very annoying, since I spend as much time on my e-mail client as I do on Twitter. It's a wonder I get anything done.
Anyway, the upshot: Since I didn't want to shut down four times a day, I spent long periods of time with my e-mail client shut down. I would miss timely e-mail messages. I found this frustrating.
On several occasions, I posted frustrated tweets about how little I enjoyed using an e-mail client that crashed multiple times a day. These posts were thoroughly hash-tagged — #Outlook, #Microsoft, #IE. Someone at Microsoft *must* be following this, I figured. Perhaps I'll get some help.
And I did. From another Microsoft user. His solution wasn't quite was I was looking for, but that's not the point.
Today, no crashes at all. That's because I have been using Google's Chrome browser all day. Turns out, the run-time errors were connected to a DLL associated with Internet Explorer.  But that's not the point, either. Chrome is not always the better browser. Some things seem to work better in IE.
The point is, I have tweeted these problems numerous times, all with hash tags that someone at Microsoft should have been monitoring. Radio silence. No phone call, no e-mail, no tweet to suggest an answer. When my post today had hash-tagged not only Microsoft topics, but also #Google and #Chrome, a friend — I'll call him “Chris,” since that's his name — replied that his over/under for a message from Microsoft was one hour. I told him, in not so many words, he shouldn't hold his breath. Radio silence continues.
Microsoft could learn a thing or two from Porter Air, where a tweet about an out-of-service cappuccino machine or empty biscotti bin will get you service in minutes. In fact, there are numerous stories of near-instantaneous engagement with customers through Twitter. I would have thought Microsoft would be all over that.
To be fair, a lot of companies haven't grasped social media as a customer service tool. But they'd better. It's becoming the norm, and what customers expect. 
Maybe it needed a #FAIL hash tag to get someone's attention. 

Would you recommend this article?


Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication.

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Dave Webb
Dave Webb
Dave Webb is a freelance editor and writer. A veteran journalist of more than 20 years' experience (15 of them in technology), he has held senior editorial positions with a number of technology publications. He was honoured with an Andersen Consulting Award for Excellence in Business Journalism in 2000, and several Canadian Online Publishing Awards as part of the ComputerWorld Canada team.

Featured Download

IT World Canada in your inbox

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.

Latest Blogs

Senior Contributor Spotlight