The power of the web

Your public face and your private face are now one. NAOMI SIMSON

Naomi Simson

By Naomi Simson

Organisations cannot control what is said about them… people can say what they want, when they want to – fair or unfair. In the digital world an email can be broadcast to millions in a flash. The adage that an upset customer will tell 10 others is now likely to be a thousand.

It is not just email, but blogging and social networking. Social networking is now the biggest media on the planet. (An interesting aside that Murdoch purchased MySpace to get into this media. However recent figures out of the US show that MySpace only grew 3% last year while its rival Facebook grew 153%. Does this say that people want this media not to be controlled by the traditional media companies?)

Let me put this in context for you: According to comScore, Facebook had 132 million unique visitors in June. That is a lot of people.

Most of the conversations happening about an organisation will never be discovered by the organisations concerned.

The only thing brands can do is to make sure they focus on the customer experience – and if customers are having a good time, maybe they will also let everyone in their social network know.

I was in Brisbane recently for a speaking engagement and my host told me as we drove past a restaurant that she had been there with friends and had a bad experience. “That happens,” she said, “but being in marketing we thought we would write an email afterwards to let them know so they could improve their service.”

The email was many paragraphs long and quite balanced – I have read it. The response from the restaurant was simply one line (and I have a copy of it):

To: Customer
Subject: RE:
Date: Sun, 10 Feb 2008 19:50:38 -0500
Dear Lorraine,
your are an idiot we dont need your feedback.

Lorraine, as you can imagine, was amazed. She forwarded the message to the other guests that night… they in turn forwarded it on… and so it went. It was picked up by the local media – Lorraine was interviewed on TV.

When we drove passed the restaurant in July it had “for lease” signs. They were out of business.

Customers have power – they have a voice, they have a media… it is our job to listen and respond – and to focus on the customer experience. Make it easy for people to contact you, and remember anything that you put in writing could be placed out of context in some “personal” media somewhere.

And make it easy for people to contact you. This is how we do it. Have your phone number and email contact loud and proud on your home page… make it easy for people to contact you. Then you have a chance of them contacting you before using their personal media.


Naomi Simson is the founder and CEO (Chief Experiences Officer) of RedBalloon Days, Naomi is passionate about pleasure! Backed by enthusiasm, energy and drive and recently named one of Australia’s best bosses (Australia’s Marketing Employer of Choice), the Entrepreneurs Organisation (Sydney Chapter) President 2007 – 2008 and mother of two, Naomi also inspires others as a regular speaker, writes a blog and has recently completed her first book .

To read more Naomi Simson blogs, click here .



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