Digidesign Update: Call from Dave Lebolt, VP, GM

Dave Lebolt

After my rant and a subsequent email to Digidesign’s VP and GM Dave Lebolt (and their head of public relations) Mr. Lebolt called me this morning.

The intent of my post was to get attention. To be a scream loud enough to be heard from Minnesota to California. But not just so I could get attention, but rather attention paid to customers who paid money for product no longer functional coupled with an internal system at Digidesign not geared to today’s customer service and conversational marketing that I and the market demands.

We engaged in a fairly lengthy conversation about them, Apple, supporting the varieties of products and plugins they do, their people and the systemic infrastructure they have (e.g., their customer relationship management system) and what they need to have and do with it (e.g., interact with customers through alerts; implement RSS feeds so we don’t have to go back to their site over-n-over again to check and see if updates are available).

He also offered to buy back the MBoxPro2. Yes, I could’ve been one of “those” customers and leapt on the offer, but that was not my intent and I’d rather they get the Leopard upgrade out and tell me that it’s ready so I don’t have to go and poke around their site every week. As a management consultant in social media where transparency, conversational marketing and engaging with people who increasingly demand a voice is one of the key tenets of success in today’s marketplace, I have to eat my own dog food and bring attention to something so wrong and customer conversations so broken as my experience with Digidesign these last several months.

One of the newest memes is customer service is the new marketing which is so right it makes me smile. So much money and effort is expended capturing new customers and so little strategic and marketing effort to keep us, blowups like Jeff Jarvis’ starting of the Dell Hell meme (if you’re not familiar with the issue, watch this video since Dell *did* turn it around and is now doing much, much better: http://direct2dell.com/one2one/archive/2007/10/18/31956.aspx) and rants like mine are going to be the norm rather than the exception.

Here’s the other kicker: As more and more of us get connected, our ability to ad hoc organize is going to accelerate. Clay Shirky’s newest book, “Here Comes Everybody“, covers the social revolution occurring — one where social media and social networking is at its core — and how this is being driven by people’s ability to connect and organize in an ad hoc fashion without organizations organizing them and what this means for companies, politics, societies, education and more.

So what’s the punchline? Companies are going to see a lot more Jeff Jarvis’s, Steve Borsch’s and the insta-blogs like Walmart Sucks and paying attention to problems and these tiny voices early will be an imperative before they become screams over the ‘net or, as Shirky details, everybody jumps on the same company since they’re having the same issue and now are able to do so easily with social media or within social networks.

Lebolt said all the right stuff (and came across as a really good guy too) so we’ll see what’s delivered. He gave me his direct line (and I have his email) and he encouraged me to stay in touch. I have a tickler on my calendar for June 15th — 60 days from tomorrow — and that will be the day I’ll be in touch if the MBoxPro2 Leopard upgrade isn’t in my hands.

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About Steve Borsch

Strategist. Learner. Idea Guy. Salesman. Connector of Dots. Friend. Husband & Dad. CEO. Janitor. More here.

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