3 stories of amazing customer service fueled by social media

Customer service – truly great customer service – can really change the way people look at your company, or at your brand. We’ve put together a few stories here that show what a little bit of social media fueled personal attention can do, and that anyone can do them if they just pay attention to their customers.

This blogpost is exclusively published on eCommerceInsiders by Patrick Speijers. Read this post on eCommerceInsiders.com.

4 words you must never say to customers

4 words you must never say to customers
I happened to catch a rerun of the Samuel L. Jackson and Kevin Spacey film ‘The Negotiator’.

Samuel L. Jackson plays an irate hostage negotiator (as opposed to his other films where he plays an irate FBI agent, an irate assassin, an irate leader of S.H.I.E.L.D., and a surprisingly calm Jedi Master) who is falsely accused for some reason or other. Jackson takes some people hostage, because what other way is there to deal with false accusations, and asks to talk to Kevin Spacey.

While waiting for Kevin Spacey to turn up, he talks to a junior hostage negotiator, who is nervous, stutters, and, when asked a question, answers ‘No’. This leads to a whole ‘Talking to Hostage Takers 101’ speech from Jackson, that you should never say ‘No’ to a hostage taker. That ‘No’ shuts off all avenues of negotiation, leaving only one option – to shoot a hostage.

Now, your customers are probably not all THAT dangerous, but still, there are certain words that you should never say.

Feedback is awesome

Feedback is awesome.Feedback is awesome

Customer feedback is even awesomer.

Customer feedback helps improve your services, which in turn means more customers, and even more feedback, which you can use to improve your services, which in turn…. :)

Now, it’s a well known fact that most people don’t like leaving feedback. They may ask a couple of questions, but even if they do have feedback to give, they don’t always spell it out for you. So you have to learn to read between the lines.

5 Steps to Better eCommerce Customer Service

5 stepst to better ecommerce customer service

Take a look at these numbers:

“48% of small business owners say what they need most to stay afloat through the recession is “more customers” compared to tax cuts (25%), access to capital (9%) and the ability to hire more employees (7%).

The American Express OPEN Small Business Monitor (fall 2011)

“81% of companies with strong capabilities and competencies for delivering customer experience excellence are outperforming their competition”

Peppers & Rogers Group, 2009 Customer Experience Maturity Monitor

So small businesses need customers to survive. Not very surprising, when you think about it. But how DO you get more customers?

Well, here are 5 simple steps that you can take today, that will help you out….

Manage your e-mails with Robin

Today we launched a new feature in Robin. Using this feature you can manage your incoming e-mails and turn them into real conversations. While talking to our users we found out that communicating with their customers using Outlook or Gmail is far from optimal. Multiple users were answering the same e-mail and e-mails were answered to late or worse, weren’t answered at all. A typical web shop using Robin handles about 5-100 conversations a day. These are mainly questions concerning the delivery of goods or payment related questions. So we thought hard on how to improve this process so we could help to improve customer satisfaction.

Robin made it to the finals!

We are proud! We are riding the waves of positive energy! Why?


Of what? Well, of The Next Web BizSpark Startup Rally! And in the category “Best Web App” of the Dutch Startup Awards! Two great honors.

Whaaaaaaa, we are SO excited.

Real-time persistent long-running connections: implementation

In my previous post I wrote about how we (the ROBIN dev-team) decided to use WebSync for our real-time solution. This time around I want to share how we implemented WebSync in ROBIN.


WebSync Server supports multiple application architectures.

Integrated application architecture:

Img 01: Integrated Application Architecture WebSync
Img 01: Integrated Application Architecture WebSync

Real-time persistent long-running connections with WebSync

Because we think it is very important to serve our users changes and notifications in a real-time fashion, we evaluated a lot of tools, components to achieve this. First we looked at Socket.IO, NowJs and Node.js, but we soon found out that this is not very hard if your team is used to Microsoft tooling. Since the ROBIN frontend (we call it the Agent Desktop) is a web application that is built using the Microsoft stack, we need a framework that is better integrated with the stack we know.

Robin’s first release

We are happy that we can announce our first release of Robin. With the team we worked for months on being able to deliver our first release to a select group of customers. We are proud on the great design and an innovative technological solution. Now there will start a very exciting period. The first customers will start to use Robin and we are really looking forward to their feedback :-)

We have some places left in our first select group of customers so let us know if you’re interested. Click here to get an invite.

Design of a great brand

In 2011 when we started the project for Robin under code name TX, we started working together (again) with interface designer Sharif Lukman. Besides he is a nice guy to work with, he is a smart creative thinker. We spend a lot of time together on a good brandname, tagline and visual. Based on what Robin must be: the sidekick for delivering great service, we came to comparisons with famous sidekicks. So there was Batman and Robin. So Robin is smart, willing to help, etc. and for marketing purposes the name Robin felt good. Robin is also a bird, for some people better known as a red robin. For some people in the team it was a bit unfamiliar, but now we all love the bird with his name.