Thursday, August 12, 2010

Book Rental Industry Madness!

The Google email alerts were aflutter with activity today after I wrote my post about Chegg.

One of the benefits of having a blog that almost no one reads, yet still having access to Google Analytics, is that I can practically hone in on every little hit my blog receives. Sometimes it's just fun, because I can presume to know exactly who that hit represents. Other times it's handy because I can track down strange traffic.

In this case, there was strange traffic. I do get stray visitors to my blog, but they are few and far between. So when three people replied to the last post, something seemed odd. Maybe my preachy rant about how to run a customer service operation had gained traction somewhere. Needless to say, I was curious.

So I checked. My little blog received visits from a PR management firm, Chegg competitors, and of course, Chegg.

I have to say... I'm flattered.

I'm also impressed. It's good to know that these companies are paying attention. It's great to see them using the web to manage their reputations. This probably shouldn't be too surprising. These are web upstarts, they aren't stodgy blue chips and they haven't grown beyond the point of caring.

Since I know you guys are reading, I want to say something to you.

Chegg: Thank you for your efforts to make me whole again as a customer. I don't know if that was a direct result of what I wrote before, or if it was already happening. We weren't expecting another call or the personal attention we received. Any way I look at it, in the end you went above and beyond.

I hope my story raised some eyebrows. My wife said that she found other stories of similar experiences on the web. The problem we had, more than anything, was how far things went and the treatment along the way. Until this incident I was an advocate of your service. I hadn't written about it, but through word of mouth I would tell everyone in college to check your site first. I'm sure if experiences like mine are limited then you'll continue to have high customer satisfaction.

Fleishman-Hillard: I suspect your reputation management service had something to do with the above. Kudos to you.

BookRenter: I do still intend to use your service. Thanks for visiting.

And I'm not quite sure why Follett visited. I know they're in the textbook industry, but that one seems odd.

It's been a weird day, but I feel like this was productive.

Edit: My wife points out that Follett also does book rentals. Guess I didn't look hard enough (and thinking back I vaguely recall the press release on that one).

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