As companies big and small continue to pile into social media it becomes more important than ever to remember what we’re all supposed to be doing out here.
Social media is a tool (a lovely friendly one I agree) which you can use to achieve specific aims. You get no prizes for simply signing up.
So I am endlessly surprised to find companies ignoring complaints which come through the old channels, in favour of the sexier twitter-based trouble shooting.
I have an example. My husband complained via e-mail to a beer company when he discovered an empty can in his multi pack. This complaint went unheeded so I picked it up and tweeted about it. I got an e-mail from them in double-quick time, which is great social media monitoring, but poor customer service.
Using twitter for customer service still has some glitter attached to it. Customers are pleased, excited even, to have their issue plucked from obscurity by vigilant company tweet-watchers.
But if you are patrolling cyberspace like someone out of the Matrix, at the expense of your traditional complaints procedures, then you are failing. Why tackle something in public if you have the chance to do it behind closed doors?
Marketers and PR professionals have been calling on their clients to adopt a clear and united strategy for social media for a long time now, but it seems that the message is still not getting through. Customer service teams need to work together across all media, picking up on complaints before they ever become public.
P.S. My specific complaint is now being dealt with and I have done my naming and shaming on Twitter so I am not going to add to the misery now! if you want the full details they are still out there.
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