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The Marketeer

Google is Still the Best

Mitch Joel asked some good questions about free services from Google causing headaches when people get locked out. A quick summary – both Chris Brogan and C.C. Chapman lost access to gmail, calendar, wave, the whole deal.

The idea of having a Google Premier customer service one is a very good one, the problem is that it is completely contrary to Google culture. Just like their search algorithm, determining when accounts are compromised and locked needs to be a fully automated one for it to scale. The other issue is that just because you have a premier service account representative, that doesn’t change the fact that the problem is probably technical in nature and the rep is only going to be able to say “Yes, we are working on it as fast as we can.” If it’s down, it’s down and no amount of inbound complaints will change that.

If you go with the paid service at leads you have a Service Level Agreement (SLA), but really this is just an insurance policy. If there’s a big problem you will be compensated, but you will still have to go through the pain.

An Attorney I used to work with had a unique job working for an organization that was unlike any other. He used to say “I’m the best there is, and I’m also the worst, because I am the only one.” Having your week messed up is a huge hassle, but I’m sure none of those guys are getting a new Hotmail account set up now.

On the other hand, it’s easy for me to keep a level head not having been locked out. I was wondering you feel the same way about this that I do – when I am locked out of an account or technology doesn’t perform as it normally does it really bothers me. Literally ruining my day and putting me in a bad overall mood. I’ve been robbed a couple of times and I put technology failure right up at the same level. How about you?

2 replies on “Google is Still the Best”

Having been on both sides tech support, I feel the providers pain, so I tend to go easy on the complaints. What doesn’t sit well is indifference, denial, finger pointing, or just general incompetence. That will get my blood boiling.

It’s technology, it breaks. The inevitable failure is just part of the bargain made for automation and efficiency.

Maybe because I’ve worked in both crisis management and project management, I see an outage as a challenge to be routed around. Of course as a former crisis planner (and a victim of too many outages to count), I do have plenty of backups and work-around ready.

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