Customer service is the new marketing

Freshbooks lives in the open wilds of social media. The officers and employees blog and use twitter. Customers respond in kind. So far, all has been good. But what happens when a disgruntled customer attacks?

Michael McDerment argues that by being transparent and proactively communicating with people, a company like Freshbooks builds up a reservoir of good will that causes most people to hold their fire when the company trips up.

Saul Colt tries to handle the situations in which people are angry. His approach: “First rule, you can never win one of these arguments. So treat people with the utmost class and respect. Never get into a shouting match. Kill these people with kindness. If they have a problem, try to work it out in the most level headed way. Never ignore people. I try to answer any blog post we can find, even if it’s a ‘hey we love you’ post. … We really believe that customer service is the new marketing.”

Saul provides an example of how Freshbooks dealt with an actual disgruntled customer. Watch the video to get the complete story.

Final note. This is the last of the series of posts with videos of Freshbooks’ appearance at Third Tuesday Toronto . I hope that you found them interesting and informative.

Other clips with Freshbooks’ Michael McDerment and Saul Colt :

A Fresh(books) approach to social media by Dave Fleet

Building a Winning Team

Your next great business idea may be staring you in the face

Freshbooks: Don’t talk about the product. Talk about what it means to people

Freshbook Execs listen and respond to customers

Online media deliver results. But traditional media still add legitimacy

There’s no shortcut past setting realistic expectations

You have to trust people