Customer Service And Social Media

Sometimes we, the customers, need some help with different products and services. Finding a way to contact customer service is not always easy. There might be a phone number or a feedback form on a company website. Modern companies often have a profile on a social media service.

Those are pretty much useless if nobody’s answering the questions customers are posting.

Calling customer service can be expensive and waiting times are long. Feedback forms most likely send the form contents to spam folder because nobody seems to ever get back to you. Social media is often also quiet. Just crickets. Few days ago I posted a question to a large Finnish consumer electronics retail store on Twitter and nobody ever answered it.

But there are exceptions.

Some software companies are efficient in using social media. If somebody asks a question, they will answer. They also pick up keywords automatically to find discussions about their products and services.

Want to let some steam out by bashing on Twitter how bad some service is? They might notice it and ask what they can do to make it better!

Need some help with a mysterious problem with your favorite app? Just tweet your question and they will get back to you.

If your company has an official strategy to have a social media presence, please be active in using it. If there’s a question, answer it. Take part in discussions, ask for feedback, help people who have problems with your products. Because that’s some damn good customer service.

WordPress admin bug with Chrome

I have MAMP PRO (version 2.1.1) installed on my iMac for local web development projects. I recently installed this blog on my development environment to be able to start developing a new theme. For my surprise, everything seemed to work ok until I logged in with Chrome (version 21.0.1180.89). The whole admin interface exploded.

Wordpress admin bug with Chrome

Looks like the cause of this problem was load-scripts.php file, which was not working correctly. It should output JavaScript code, but the output was just gibberish. This explains the [cci]Uncaught SyntaxError: Unexpected token ILLEGAL[/cci] error.

No idea what was causing this weird problem that didn’t appear with Safari at all. Same problem has been described on WordPress Answers and Stack Overflow.

I tried clearing all browser data with no help. I tried reinstalling WordPress, but it didn’t help either. I disabled WordPress plugins, no help. There was nothing weird in the logs, just alerts about missing favicons. PHP (5.4.4) cache is off, but to be honest, I don’t know enough about Apache and PHP caching or configuration to be able to trace this issue there.

Then I noticed this comment on Stack Overflow:

Well this is really strange. I opened the local site with a “incognito window” of Chrome and the problem dissapeared :S

I gave it a try and, ta-da, problem vanished.

Would be nice to know what was causing it. Something I didn’t try, was to disable all Chrome extensions. A faulty extension could explain why it worked in incognito mode.

Update 10.3.2013

The reason for this bug is most likely AdBlock plugin. The WordPress admin interface will load correctly after disabling AdBlock.

Nova Trotters and the Streisand effect

Streisand effect is an online phenomenon, where an attempt to hide information on the web causes it to spread even more.

Nova Trotters is a company hosting some sort of “Best Websites in Finland” competition and they have been receiving lots of criticism around the Finnish blogosphere. The attempt to hide this criticism by cease and desist has lead of course to Streisand effect.

The information is spreading in blogs, forums and Twitter like a wildfire.

More details (sorry, only in Finnish) on the following blogs and forums: