An Open Letter to Kirthiga Reddy – Why Does Facebook’s Client Servicing Fall Short?
Dear Kirthiga Reddy,
Congratulations. You’re quite the woman. You’ve carved out several niches for yourself in your journey from Silicon Graphics to Facebook India and we know you’ve earned them. You’re breaking through glass ceilings and paving a well-lit path for others to follow.
Since taking over Facebook India, you’ve played a significant role in its skyrocketing adoption, growing your user base from 8 million to 100 million. Those are no small potatoes.
And there’s always a but. And to tell you about it, we’d like a few moments of your time.
But, Ms Reddy. Have you ever stopped to consider how often client servicing at Facebook falls short?
Perhaps Facebook could take a page out of Google’s book to pick up a few pointers. I know that sounds harsh off the bat, but I have a very good reason to back up that statement with.
And it’s called the Google Engage program.
I’m sure you’ve heard of it. It’s Google’s programs for servicing their agency partners and signing up for the program gets members a treasure-trove of benefits like:
- Rewards for best-practice compliance
- Direct access to Google’s product updates and training
- Annual certification exams for Google Partners to help them stay current with the industry
But that’s just the beginning. There are other ways that Google extends a firm handshake to its agency partners, which include but are not limited to:
- Active Outreach: The Google Engage Program proactively reaches out to agencies to help them connect with other certified Google Partners and clients to develop health and mutually beneficial relationships.
- Approachability: Whether we’ve needed assistance with setting up a new client account or understanding the reason behind rejected ads, Google has been consistently approachable and available to address our concerns. In the meantime, we’re still trying to figure out why Facebook still doesn’t have a direct email response for servicing queries. We also don’t understand why we’re constantly rerouted to the online help section if we attempt to find a human at the call centre.
- Client and Partner Incentives: I’m sure you’re well aware that Google extends a line of credit to its Partners. It’s fairly common knowledge in the industry. Google also offers a constant stream of incentives to agencies, and as a fellow marketer, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you exactly how valuable incentivizing is in ensuring repeat footfalls and sales.
The bottom line, Ms Reddy, is that when we get in touch with Google, we’re assured of receiving a swift and thorough resolution of the issues we’re facing. We’re also assured of receiving tailored leads to help us grow at a steady pace.
But that’s not the end of the story.
Since we’re based in India, we’re wondering why Facebook still doesn’t offer an agency program in the subcontinent. We’re also wondering why Facebook is so intent on creating profound obstacles for agencies.
I can’t speak for others, but I can tell you about the trouble Techmagnate, a leading digital marketing agency, has been facing because of the changes occurring at Facebook. And the reason I need to put all of this in an open letter is because we can’t find a human being to speak with at your organization.
Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve had a significant amount of trouble trying to administer our ad accounts, for both, ourselves and our clients.
We received an email asking to upgrade our Ads Account to a Business Account before 16th Feb. and we did. Imagine our surprise on discovering that 4 of our ad accounts had been flagged without notice and we could no longer run ads for several of our major clients. I’m still not sure Facebook had a good reason for blocking our accounts, but even if you did, those reasons have never been made clear to us.
We’re angry, confused and frustrated because the “client servicing representatives” at Facebook have made their disinterest in assisting us abundantly clear.
Why, in this day and age, is it so difficult to get a resolution from an organization of your stature?
As you’re well aware, Facebook hosts two million advertisers globally, with brands like Coca Cola, Visa, Unilever and Vodafone bringing their India campaigns live through Facebook; and this foray of the Fortune 500 is incrementally increasing in “emerging” economies like India. To top it off, large brands in the Indian e-commerce sector like Jabong and Flipkart have also relied on the power that Facebook has to hold the audience’s attention.
It’s a great time for global intersections on a platform that provides granular targeting options for the best piece of the pie. And despite all the doom-and-gloom warnings about its demise in the Western world, Facebook could very well become all things to all people, including marketers.
You were present at the IAMAI’s 9th Digital Summit in New Delhi this year, Ms Reddy. You know that India is home to a rapidly growing, digitally-enabled economy, to the tune of 500 million digital users by 2018. And you’re no stranger to the industry – you know how necessary scalability and client-support services are to efficiently manage exponential growth.
And truth be told, we were very excited to see you at the Summit where all thought leaders – yourself included – agreed that as India strengthens its digital landscape, we’ll need to put our heads together to make ourselves global leaders.
The Digital Future of India
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We’re looking forward to shaping a stronger, more digitally connected India along with the rest of the industry and lending a stronger hand in India’s growth.
Don’t you think stellar client servicing is a part of that change? Isn’t it time Facebook India geared up to work along with us?
I sincerely hope you’re listening.