Free Social Media Strategy Advice
Here’s some FREE social media expertise. As such, it’s likely valued similarly, but just as useful as any other “thought leadership” floating around out there. Here’s the deal: If you’re a brand using social media to field customer service complaints on Twitter or Facebook, make sure the other links in your customer service chain are as dedicated, sophisticated, responsive, and dogged as you are. What good is it if your company is out there patting the heads of us poor consumers, putting your reassuring arms around us on Twitter, just to leave us victim to your Kafkaesque customer service? I’m not alone on this one. Right Place Marketing asks: Are You Using Social Media as an Excuse for Poor Customer Service?
..are they merely doing good PR by handling public, highly-visible complaints with a fast, courteous response, while the rest of their customers are sitting on hold listening to the endless easy-listening loop?
– Right Place Marketing
Now much of this rant is the result of being betrayed by the dryer pictured here, my subsequent grumblings to a yet-to-respond publicly [REDACTED] and the resulting odyssey that has ensued. While @scottfmurphy has been incredibly helpful and sincere, the rubber meets the road part of our customer service experience has been unimpressive… infuriating in fact. But that’s sometimes how this stuff works. So I won’t bore you with our garden variety consumer woes. My point is, for all the self congratulatory social media back slapping that goes on, much of it is undeserved. Many of these efforts appear, by design, simply a means to squelch negative Twitter mentions.
And The Noisy Shall Be Heard – If They Have A Lot of Followers
Once a customer service complaint has reached the Twitters, your customer service team has likely failed. It’s the online equivalent of “I will not leave this store and I will stand here shouting at the cash register until I speak to the manager!” The effectiveness of this strategy appears directly proportional to the number of followers you have on Twitter. Enter Kevin Smith.
So when your social media complaints department responds with “gosh, so sorry to hear you’ve had this experience. we’re going to get to the bottom of this.” – that’s just PR. That makes YOU look good in the near term, but it doesn’t make us feel good. More importantly it doesn’t make the customer whole.
Do It Right or Don’t Bother
So to all of you much blogged about, case study panel sittin’, social media – customer service darling brands – I say this: don’t write social media checks the rest of the customer service chain can’t cash.
The heating element arrived from [REDACTED] yesterday (3/1) and the tech came out to make the repair not long after. Minutes after he left, ANOTHER heating element arrived, so I’ll save that one (unless [REDACTED] asks for it back) in case this one fails. [REDACTED] executive office of customer service called to make sure that we were satisfied with the work.