There are some that will say any press is good press, eventually. This is of course a false notion.
We have an issue with a company we have done business with and we would like to get it resolved. So, we decide to reach out to them. How hard can that be? Well, in this age of advancing technology not as fast as one might think.
The really cool website of the company we are trying to contact has limited contact information but there is a phone number, granted it was hidden from easy view. The phone rings, and rings when an automated message informing us not to hit zero or any other button until we listen to the complete menu, which has just been changed so don’t think you can get around the next 90 second information exercise until a voice mail box tells us to leave a message. Our email or contact form gets no immediate response but a note does finally arrive telling us how important we are… but then another three days pass. So if you are like many, in the next moment you go to your social media network and tell the world the story… and that this company (fill in the name), sucks at service.
We feel some level of relief that we are at least able to vent, but we haven’t really been heard. Within minutes, because perhaps we (#) hash tagged the words #thissucks… our outrage is picked up and reposted a few… thousand times.
For the company in question this is the “Yikes” moment. This is a virtual leak in the boat that is their brand. But as an organization with a sense of risk management you have some of your resources, perhaps a full time resource that monitors social media for just such an event… so you can do damage control. As the re-posts pass into the tens of thousands and management is informed, someone considers the possibility turning customer service over to a completely public channel might not be the very best strategy. Then again, at least the company did find out about the issue along with a growing percentage of the global population on the planet of this now very likely former customer and can respond to the individual and the public…
There is the belief that because social media is live, it is therefore fast, which of course it can be… as information and dialogue streams out gaining momentum and social awareness. The correct response, cleared by legal or at least a manager takes some time, because what would make it worse is a quick but poorly thought out response. (And a ‘We’re so very sorry to learn of this, mush, mush, lip service response is seen by the community to be what it is… evidence that the company really has a poor customer service approach) All in all, by this time not only the customer is very likely now someone else’s customer, but potential customers have made purchasing decisions that do not bode well for this company. The fire is now blazing out of control and you are fighting it with a wet towel.
More often the Social Media negative remarks don’t ignite a fiery explosion one suggests in retort, but that might in fact be worse as they solder endlessly unnoticed by the companies resource(s) available to find such a publicly posted comments that register on the bad PR scale… In the end the Executive that was thinking “There must be a better way” is right.
Things to consider:
1) Social Media are public, global communication channels
2) Once engaged the remarks and views (content) remain forever
3) Once bad press is out on Social Media, getting in front of the story is a much longer race
4) Like in the days when newspapers reigned supreme, retractions (Corporate Social Media responses) get far less attention and notice
CustomerCarePoint (dot) com – Is a Cloud Tool to help communication between individuals and customer centric organizations that wish to enhance their ability to Listen and Respond to Customers. It has a full suite of features that can be selected by our clients to tailor its function, reporting and automated follow up to specific corporate objectives.