I realise that this happened well over a month ago.
I realise I’m a tad late to the party.
I realise that people are still talking about Skyscanner Jen.
For those who don’t know anything about this, I happen to be this Skyscanner Jen person (shock horror) and, although I’ve already been outed thanks to 9Gag, I thought it might be wise to show face and maybe give a little background to the whole insane thing that dominated my life for a few weeks.
So what happened? This:
Think this all happened instantaneously? Oh, no no no no. A few media outlets picked it up but I figured it wasn’t that interesting to people and moved on whilst still popping in from time-to-time to make sure I didn’t miss a thing.
One week later Mashable found the story and everything went a little nutts. Buzzfeed appeared. Huffington Post decided to cover it 4 times (and in their comedy section too just for a bit of variation). Cheezburger ran the story. Even George bloody Takai shared it (or his army of assistants did anyway) on his Facebook page.
On top of this, I accidentally formed #TeamJen (until Jennifer Aniston rightfully stole it back) and I was the new owner of this tshirt.
Ok, but so what? What does all this mean? I have one main thought on this and it’s all to do with the human touch.
Those of you who’ve keep up with our antics will know about the Facebook Messenger bot we launched. This in itself was amazing. I struggle to find anything bad to say about it but (and there’s always a but) it meant people were getting confused about whether they were interacting with a real life, flesh and blood human or a series of well written code. I had people talk to the bot and only realise it wasn’t a human when the messages got a little too repetitive. I’ve had others upset that our bot couldn’t help in the war against aliens and threatened our demise. Others flat-out refused to believe that they were actually speaking to me when they used our ‘talk to a human’ option.
So had we lost the human touch, or at least, reduced it? Perhaps a little, and this made the Community Manager in me doubt everything I’d been doing for the last year.
I made two simple changes: I added my name where I could (character count depending) to the end of all messages and promised myself that I would respond to anything in a way I would want to be responded to.
And you know what? It worked.
I saw improvements in how people were responding on Twitter and it almost instantly helped calm situations where it was needed. I honestly believe that this was because they knew that behind the account was a human being instead of a faceless entity which may or may not have been assigned a name for the day.
So the name was working well, but how was the talking like you want to be spoken to bit going? Yeah, alright actually. That went hand in hand with the name thing and it felt like we were going in the right direction. Fast forward a little bit and in walks James Lloyd to confirm my suspicions.
Moral of all this? Go back to basics and become a human again. You won’t always please everyone (people thought this entire thing was fake and was set up by a marketing agency or that there was small army of people pretending to be Skyscanner Jen – I can assure you that I am only one human), but the small wins are worth it.
Oh and what was in that box? A selection of the finest weird stuff I could find on Amazon.
If you want to see the full and bizarre Skyscanner Jen thing in all it’s glory, then you’ll need to head to Skyscanner’s Facebook page (just be warned it’s bloody long and crashed my browser many times).