Yesterday I wrote a post on extortionist social influencers. Some of the commenters (including my wife) asked where I draw the line. Because to be honest, I have pulled rank and mentioned this blog in dealing with poor customer service representatives.
So where is the line? At what point does a mention of influence become extortion? Honestly, I'm not totally sure. But I would like to propose the following guidelines. I would LOVE to get your thoughts and feedback.
You might be a social extortionist if:
- You threaten to use your audience in order to gain unfair or super-standard advantages over all other customers, particularly as it relates to reimbursement.
- You harass executives with threatening messages.
- You contact anyone via personal, non-professional channels (ex. home phone).
note: harassing front line service level employees is just not cool
You're well within your rights to use your influence to:
- Get the customer support everyone deserves.
- Wake up a lazy call center representative/get better access to the channels everyone else has access to.
- Raise a red flag to your audience about a policy you believe to be unfair.
- Invite constructive feedback from your audience, and then pass it along to the brand.
The golden rule: Ask yourself, am I demanding additional concrete gains (cash or product) with the threat of my influence? What would my audience think?
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Am I an extortionist? My cell phone company sold me a phone with the promise that it could do things that it was incapable of doing (like email). The rep was misinformed. They cited a policy and claimed I could not return for another model, only another unit of the same model. I told them that I disagreed with this policy and would write a post to that effect. They gave me an early upgrade.