Jul
24

LinkedIn’s Greatest Vulnerability is You, the Customer

posted on July 24th, 2018 in CEOs,General; Leave a Comment

As a long time LinkedIn evangelist, I write this post not with malice but with sheer and utter frustration. I am the first one to remind the people that we are simply borrowing LinkedIn’s platform and it’s theirs to build any which way they choose. However, there are things beyond understanding.

A client called last week to tell me someone had taken over his account, literally, taken it over, attached him to a different company and changed his email address. He had no access. It was clear the company was not legitimate even without heading over to Google to do some due diligence. Of course, my client asked if we could help. He had scoured LinkedIn’s website and the web looking for a number. There is no number.

People never really believe me when I tell them there’s no phone number or customer support. And, the sites that say they help with LinkedIn support are also false. Don’t go there.

When I called our LinkedIn Relationship Manager, she also assured me there’s no number, and if the same thing happened to her, she would have to do the same things she told us to do. Since my client wasn’t part of an enterprise account, he was on his own.

I reported, through my profile, that his account had been hacked. What ensued over the next few days was a series of un-threaded emails and acknowledgments from LinkedIn. They did take his profile down, removed the wrong company from his profile, left it in his headline and never fixed the email address. He still has no access, and no one can seem to figure out the email issue. You see, when he tries to log back into LinkedIn and reset his password along with verifying his identity, the verification goes somewhere else. Clearly, as a Premium member, canceling his credit card and alerting his bank was important.

My client has been a strong proponent of LinkedIn from the beginning and uses Sales Navigator.  When he’s frustrated, and rightfully so, and questions whether he should even bother trying to fix this problem, I listen quietly. I wonder how in 2018 this happens. How could there be so little interaction between a subscriber or member and the company?

I see LinkedIn’s most significant vulnerability, and it’s a lack of customer focus. I know some awesome people at LinkedIn who want to be helpful, (thank you, Catherine.) However, they can’t. There’s no method for them to escalate an issue for one of their clients or any individual member.

In Tien Tzuo’s book, subscribed, he talks about the fundamental shift of the linear Old Business Model that focused on products sold through various channels to a consumer. That is a dated model. Today, the New Business Model is circular, with the subscriber or member at the center with their experience a critical component. If their experience is positive, they will buy more through various channels.

This customer-centric focus is something most everyone talks about today; however, few do it well, and it’s hard to accomplish. Every company must try and seek to achieve this or else.

Do I think it will be easy to make each of LinkedIn’s more than 500 million+ members feel special? No. Do I think they need to try? Yes. Even Microsoft does this pretty well. Every time I’ve needed to talk to a Microsoft specialist, I found a number to call on my admin dashboard. They were smart, courteous and took care of the issue. I’ve spent far less money on my Microsoft subscriptions than I have on my various LinkedIn products (Premium, Sales Navigator, and Recruiter) and I suspect most of my clients have as well.

So, hey LinkedIn folks, while your updates are usually good, despite not releasing them to everyone at the same time, could you focus on your customers for a while? Could you help the people protect their identity when it appears to be and has been hacked?  Can you figure out a way to empower your people to escalate on behalf of their clients? If you need some help with this, check out Tzuo’s book, hmmm….you probably know him personally. If he’s not around and you don’t want to take his book on, how about calling some of your peers at Apple or the mothership, Microsoft?

I wonder if you’ve spent as much time thinking about this issue, your vulnerability as I have this past week. I wonder if you even care one hoot.

Our Thursday Quick Tip will focus on a list of what to do if you’ve been hacked, albeit, it’s a short list.

Colleen McKenna launched Intero Advisory for businesses focused on increasing their sales and talent initiatives. Since 2011 Intero Advisory, a LinkedIn consulting, coaching and training firm has been engaged by more than 240 companies. Intero shakes up the status quo with a 'personal' approach to business by maximizing an individual's network, personal brand, and expertise.

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