LinkedIn is a great way to network with other business professionals. But it does have some easily corrected problems. Of course, LinkedIn is not the king (or queen) of customer service or listening to customer requests. So they probably won’t do any of this. But they should.
1. Get a decent customer service department. I am a paid subscriber. But it can still take days and often at least a couple of reports of the same problem to even get a response. Even then, LinkedIn rarely fixes the problem. This is unacceptable for even the free service, much less the paid service.
2. Let people invite others they don’t know. If I’m at a regular networking event, I can go up to anyone and introduce myself. They have the freedom to respond or not respond with information. But LinkedIn operates on an absurd principle that you either have to know someone or be introduced to them to invite them. Why?
3. Install a simple text editor. Right now the only emphasis one can give in a comment or discussion is TO CAP IT. This is very old fashioned and not very much fun. Almost everyone now has a simple text editor. LinkedIn should, too.
4. Stop letting group members move discussions to jobs or promotions. This should be the duty of group owners and managers only. At this time, competitors can move any discussions to never-never land, namely, jobs or promotions. There is a notification, but getting a post moved back to discussions is a real pain, especially since most group owners don’t do a very good job of responding to requests. In this cut-throat business environment, why give my competitors the right to silence me (or me the right to silence them)?
5. Require a photo to be on LinkedIn. This would cut down on spammers and frauds on LinkedIn. LinkedIn should also enforce their terms of service regarding photos, namely, no logos or icons. I like to have a picture of the person with whom I’m connecting.
6. Make it easier to respond to members who write you through LinkedIn. Right now it is a real pain. Let someone who receives a LinkedIn message respond by simply hitting “respond” on their e-mail program, rather than having to sign into LinkedIn and use LinkedIn’s inadequate response mechanism. Hint: When you send a message via LinkedIn, always include your real e-mail address. If you are going to ping me, I should be trustworthy enough to be able to write you back directly.
7. Make it easier to contact LinkedIn. Not only is LinkedIn’s customer service worse than that of airlines (that’s pretty bad), but it is incredibly difficult to place a trouble ticket. This should be a “one click.” Instead, customers have to jump through hoops to send an e-mail. For those of us who are paying customers a phone number where we can actually talk to a real person would be a nice touch — so long as that real person has the information, the authority and the willingness to actually solve the problem — something LinkedIn is really abysmal at.
8. Give us something for our money. I haven’t decided whether my money that is going to LinkedIn each month is being well spent or not. I still get the same lousy customer service. I can do a bit of enhanced searching. But not much else. If we’re going to pay, let us get our money’s worth!
9. Stop making me sign in so much! I should be able to sign-in and stay signed in. As it is, every so often I have to re-enter my password. I understand this is for my “security,” but I should be able to sign-in and stay signed in on the same computer.
LinkedIn is a great tool for business. But they aren’t very responsive to the needs and desires of their customers. This is the primary attitude at LinkedIn I’d love to see changed immediately.
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John Heckers has over 30 years of successfully helping people with their careers. He has consulted to executives from Fortune 500 companies, five-person companies, and everything in-between.
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