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Don't be Comcast: Use analytics, monitoring to prevent a viral disaster

Rob Enderle | July 21, 2014
Laugh all you want at the Comcast rep who didn't realise that customers were recording his subpar service as it was happening. Just don't forget that your company is one frustrated employee away from going viral, too.

The fact that one little mistake can put an entire reporting line at risk should also justify the cost of putting in place a protective process to, say, identify investigative reporters drilling for a story particularly ones who didn't know they were drilling when they struck oil and torpedoed your career in the process. To protect your rear end, and your company's, use analytics to scan social media, to look at customer, employee and investor databases, and to interface with sales, customer, and buyer systems.  

Monitor Employees to Nip Problems in the Bud
In addition to looking at ways to use analytics to avoid that next viral event, I'll suggest some process changes, since I was in the middle of a couple of these things myself.

Outward-facing employees need to be constantly reminded not to misuse the power of the firm. You'd think this would come naturally, but low-level employees often feel powerless in their own jobs and make up for the related inferiority complex when they are granted power to by overusing it to reassert their status.

When this gets out, it's more than just a potential viral event. It will get the employee fired and make its way up to management, too. Monitoring employee-customer interactions and using role-playing exercises to reinforce proper behavior can go a long way toward assuring that the next viral event doesn't turn you into the crap catcher.

I should add that employees who act like this should be managed out of the company or, at the very least, into jobs that don't require much interaction either inside or outside the firm. If abuse of power isn't corrected early and now I speak as a former internal auditor it often turns into an even bigger problem if the employee becomes an executive with real power.


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