Technology, like anything else, has its good points and bad points. One who argues that technology has taken away our “human connection” has a very valid argument. But with the bad there is also good, take social media for example. Social media is fast becoming the new outlet for customer complaints directed at service providers who often don’t listen to real customer issues. I’m almost 100% certain that every one of us has had a customer service related issue that never was heard or resolved. I mean the first step is trying to get resolution in the store, where often times the person you’re talking to is hands tied and not able or willing to help. The next step to resolution is calling customer service numbers and likely waiting on hold for several minutes to hours only to get bounced around from one person to the next. Then you might get that complaint taken care of or more likely, you’ll get a load of excuses. Let’s face it, most people are so frustrated by the lack of customer service these days that they completely bypass steps one and two and go directly to this century’s third step, social media complaining.
— Dianis Jmz (@dianisjimenez) May 23, 2015
— Petteri Muuruvirta (@muuruvirta) May 20, 2015
You can search Twitter and Facebook for #badcustomerservice and literally find hundreds if not thousands of customer complaints. So why so much social media complaining? It’s easy to call these people out as whiners and the like but once it happens to you, you’ll understand. I don’t often voice my complaints to a large audience when things happen to me, I tend to try and go through steps one and two. But recently I had an experience at Dunkin Donuts that escalated my complaint to step three. I had already tried step one twice and the third time the incident happened I had enough. Customer service oriented establishments need to wake up and understand that their antiquated customer service policies are being challenged in a big way. Social media’s growth over the past five to ten years has made it a perfect vehicle for disgruntled customers to have a voice and a loud one at that. It’s time companies start taking social media more seriously and not just treat it as an advertising vehicle.
Successful social media interaction includes conversing with your customers when they respond to one of your posts. Acknowledging them when they re-share your content with either a Like, Favorite or +1 depending on the social media network. But most importantly and the single thing that will make or break companies on social media, respond to customer complaints in public. When you avoid these interactions you’re giving your company a reputation you probably don’t want it to have. It’s the digital age and you are no longer fully in charge of customer service, the people have taken it upon themselves to get satisfaction and if you don’t listen, you just might end up in a bad place.
Feature image courtesy thingsontop.com