Social Media Will Punish You for Poor Customer Service

Today I saw the following post in Facebook from one of my friends. Ouch! ALL CAPS! This person was SHOUTING this message! This kind of thing travels too.   


Companies are all working hard these days to use Social Media to create credibility, define their brand, and grow visibility. They are training their people how to write effective content and building processes to manage the publishing of that content and ensure that it is valuable and doesn’t conflict with the company’s messaging. 

Then, WHAM! Someone in Customer Service treats someone poorly and that experience is immediately broadcast to hundreds of people across the country. And who knows how many share it or forward it from there? We all know bad news travels faster than good news, so we’re far less likely to see one of these love notes when the Customer Service experience is outstanding. Sad, but true.

In the days before Social Business an angry customer would storm out of the store and maybe tell two or three people before settling down. The damage was contained. But today, a great deal of effort, expense, and good work can be undermined by just one ugly slip up. And frankly the folks most often on the line are the Customer Service folks.

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So, a quick note to all the good people in Customer Service. I know you have a difficult job. You are the ones who get an earful every time you speak with a customer, and sometimes it’s completely unwarranted. You need skin as thick as an elephant hide to keep coming back day after day. And you deserve a lot more credit than you’re likely getting. 
But know that what you are doing is more valuable than it’s ever been. You are the tip of the spear when it comes to customer satisfaction, not sales, not merchandising, not management. YOU. You alone have the power to turn an unhappy customer into either a great advocate for your company, or a Social Media IED. And as the post above illustrates, it can happen in the blink of an eye.

One more example of how everyone in the company, more than ever before, must be focused on making happy customers.

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