13. attaining social maturity

Sometimes it takes a real kick in the pants to get a company going. It happened at Dell, where Dell Hell launched the company into the social world. It happened at Comcast, where a YouTube video of its sleeping technician galvanized the social side of customer care. And in just the same way, the embrace of social applications at the iconic home improvement retailer, Home Depot, followed an online crisis.

In 2007, personal finance columnist and serial remodeler Scott Burns wrote a column on MSN Money with the title “Is Home Depot shafting shoppers?”1 It starts with these words:

Sixteen years ago, I sent my wife a love note. It went like this:

Carolyn: I’ve gone to Our Store. Be back soon. Love, Scott.

We called Home ...

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