Friday, March 06, 2009

A comment to Seth Godin

I was going to leave a comment on his blog, yet I could not find the "comment" link. It's pretty ironic based on what the post was about... Anyway, that's not what I'm here for.

Yesterday at the office I searched for "health net" (the company I work for) in As you can imagine, I found some interesting comments.

I thought, mmm, who is "girlgonechild"? So I followed the link, which let to her tweeter account, that showed 1000+ followers. I thought, ok, she's a little famous. From there I noted her facebook page, which is open to all, and has pictures of her. So I thought, OK, she's real. meaning she's not a Loser who makes herself look like a Winner through the veil of Photoshop. Then I notice she wrote for the Huffington Post. She has reach, that twitterer!

So I send her an email... (lemme dig.)


Saw your comment about Health Net on twitter.

I work for Health Net in IT. I'm getting laid off in a few months so my loyalty is near-zero, yet I'd like to see if there is anything I can do to fix whatever problem you're having (maybe not for you, but for others who go through the same)


Chris Mahan
grandcentral (818) 671-1709
Which, a day later, I still have no reply to. But she's a busy mommy and she might get around to it and she might not. I have a busy mommy in my wife so I know how these things go.

How does this relate to Seth Godin's blog? We're getting there.

I replay the whole thing to my co-worker; a fellow IT guy. He listens patiently as I trail him through the twitter and the facebook and the huffingtonpost page, and then declares: "The company doesn't care about this one person."

Not wanting an argument, near my cube, I desist (well, I did make a few remarks later on).

The thing is, really, that this one person is a Health Net customer.

Now, in the screenshot, the second link is gone from twitter, but the "Health Net can suck it" on is still there. Some people might not like it, but it's better than a lawsuit, you know?

Now we're getting to Seth's point.

Why did Rebecca vent on twitter? Does she vent on twitter about her local grocery store? I bet not. I bet that when she has a problem at the local grocery store, she goes to an employee there and lets them know what's up. If it's a bigger problem, I am sure she will find the manager and let him have it. And what will the store manager do? He will listen to her, and then he will either say that he will fix whatever the problem is, or otherwise explain why things are the way they are. Either way, though, he will say: "thank you for letting me know".

And that is what Health Net is not doing: allowing the customer to walk up to someone (in person, via phone, IM, email, matters not) , letting them know what's wrong, and getting that "Thank you for letting us know" statement.

Now, in all fairness, Health Net does have a customer service line. But I wonder how effectively they listened to Rebecca Woolf. I wonder how well they said "Thank you for letting us know."

Do I care? Yes. Because every two weeks I draw a paycheck, and in there is a little money that comes from Rebecca's bank account that she could have used for her son and daughter, so I certainly hope the money she gave us wasn't wasted but instead provided value to her and her family.

So when she writes "Health Net can suck it", I start to wonder whether we're actually delivering the value.

Oh, and by the way: Rebecca Woolf produces outstanding content: see the article and watch the video.

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