I’ve just been doing this think called Social Media for two years. I have my own little company, but I inundate myself with this stuff (mostly behind the scenes) daily. Every. Single. Day.
Do you hear me? I’m a little peeved (and that is saying it lightly).
I work a lot. I want to give my customers the absolute best service that I can possible, because if I make them look good, then in their eyes, there is no one else for Social Media, I’m IT.
Not only have I been doing this for two years (which by the way doesn’t seem like a long time, but Social Media years (to me) are like dog years,) so I’m all in fourteen years. Anyway, not only do I “do” Social Media, I study it. I watch who is really good, what they are doing, and I don’t copy it, ok, maybe some of it I do, but copying is one of the greatest forms of flattery. So when I give you a suggestion, it’s based on 1. My own personal experience 2. What I’ve seen “Others” do that has has impressed me 3. Knowing who the players are, and what they do that works.
So someone screwed something up. It was an unfortunate mistake, but it happened. Service industry companies that utilize social media have to be very careful when they screw up, even if it was something, that just, damnit happened. They have to be careful because here is what happens in Social Media:
1. The “screw up” happens
2. The “screw up” is posted on a social media site like, say, Twitter or Facebook.
Here’s what happens folks, not only did the Company screw up, but the person or persons that it effected has now posted the complaint on their personal Twitter or Facebook page. So all of their (let’s say 500) ALL of their 500 followers/friends have seen that this company wronged them in some way. Not only do their friends know – but if they posted the complaint and it’s got your companies name on it – guess what – all of your fans/likers/followers saw it too – all 2,000 (TWO THOUSAND) of them. It’s not word of mouth anymore people, it’s viral, it’s instantaneous, and if you don’t make it right – 2,500 people are going to know about it (Their followers + Yours)!?!? If you don’t think people will take notice? Get you head out of the sandbox man. I’m trying to be your friend here.
So…let’s say I got bad service somewhere and I “tweeted” about it. The companies reaction can be to ignore it, say their sorry, or go the extra mile (when you’re really good) to make it right. I’m not taking about thousands of dollars. It’s a manager coming over to apologize, an owner asking what happened, a PR person sending out a $5 gift card. Act like you give a damn, and people will be loyal to you till the sun doesn’t shine anymore.
Let’s say hypothetically that someone’s client got a tweet about a service problem. The account manager made the company aware of the problem and suggested a $5 “I’m Sorry” gift card (because they know it works, they’ve seen it work.) The customer feels a little extra love, they feel important, they know their patronization is important to the company, and they want to make it right. Besides, odds are, they get the $5 gift card, they’re coming back in to spend $10, $20, $15, they’ll tell their friends, their friends will tell their friends, they’ll thank the company via Twitter/Facebook – do ya know what happens? This is not a test by the way. Their GOLDEN again. Someone will remember you made the mistake right longer than they will remember the mistake.
Let’s say, regardless of the suggestion, the company chooses not to do anything about it. I mean sure, they’ll say I’m sorry on Twitter or Facebook, but they won’t go that small, tiny, extra mile.
Wanna know what happens the next time someone says something about that company? What do you think will happen?
“Hey Bob, do you wanna go to ________ with me today?” Bob: “No, they last time I was there XXX, XXX, this and that happened, and they did nothing about it, and I’m not going back there ever again.”
That’s just more gasoline to a fire that was out for a few weeks, or months.
So if you see me shaking my head, or saying “that’s not really a good idea,” please refer back to this blog post.
Better yet, just ask the NFL Pro Shop. (See “A Story Too Good Not To Share” on http://www.seppichdaily.com)