Custom Digital Marketing, Social & Interactive Media Consulting

Word of Mouth, meet Global Village

Think of the last time you did business with a company and it left a bad taste in your mouth. Maybe the company got your order wrong and it was a pain to get it corrected. Perhaps the salesperson was rude, ignored you or couldn’t answer your questions. Got it in your mind? Good.

Now, how many people did you tell? Probably a handful of friends, some family – maybe five or six people tops.

Back in the day, companies could keep unsatisfied customers ‘under wraps’ … responding (or not) to that particular situation, knowing the damage would be minimal at best should they find the situation unfixable. Any bad press would be limited to the verbal reach of that specific customer. Occasionally, a higher-profile customer may be the one unhappy, necessitating a rapid, more public correction.

Now, take a look at these –

@promotingyou (3,935 Followers)
Ok this @redbox representative "Michael" has NO customer service skills. Please offer classes to your employees

@IrinaVoronina (9,885 Followers)
Another awful @unitedair experience . I m soo done w that airline!!!

@CarieIsSoVery (2,135 Followers)
Fort Myers BMW, thanks AGAIN for the absolutely horrible customer service. This is exactly why I bought my car in Ft Lauderdale. You suck!

See the problem? Each of these people has thousands of followers on Twitter, with @IrinaVoronina close to 10,000. No more is the bad experience limited to the half-dozen, but now a negative experience reaches thousands with the press of a button.

If companies aren’t paying attention to tweets on Twitter, or basically anywhere in the new social interactive media landscape where people can share their opinions and experiences with dang-near everyone, they are doing themselves a disservice. Platforms like Twitter and Facebook are the new arenas in CRM – Customer Relationship Management. Companies need to be proactive when possible and respond quickly when necessary. Engaging your customers in the social conversation, not just those that ‘like’ your brand, but those that may have issues with your business only serves to help your company in the long run. Customers want to feel that they matter, that people are paying attention to them. A simple reply to a disgruntled tweet can make all the difference, turn that negative customer into a positive example of your company in action, taking its customers seriously, caring about their experience.

Coach’s Tip:

Monitor social media channels like Twitter for what people are saying about your company and your brand. Be prepared to respond to concerns and problems as well as reward loyal brand champions.