Facebook and Customer Service

October 23, 2012

Social media is a brilliant tool that allows brands to connect and build relationships. The cost to enter and participate in the social media space is minimal and generally speaking can make the world more transparent. Nowadays the playing field on which brands and consumers face off has never been more level. Where previously brands controlled the means of broadcast (through PR, advertising and news coverage), consumers now have a megaphone of their own in the form of social media.

At some point it is inevitable that a brand will be confronted with customer service issues or complaints. Knowing when and how to respond to these conversations can be the difference between brand advocacy or a PR disaster. Increasingly impatient customers and fans are rushing to the Facebook Wall to spout specific questions or complaints about product and service issues, with the expectation of receiving a rapid-fire satisfactory response and the threat of making a big stink across their social networks if they don’t.

Whilst most brands are reactive to negative press or comments, the manner in which the comments are addressed is important. Bodyform recently won the internet award for the response of the year on facebook. When a man named Richie Neill took to the facebook page of Bodyform to complain about misleading advertising, he earned some chuckles. Bodyform responded spectacularly with a brilliant spoof apologising for their years of deception (see below the original post which received over 8,000 likes) and Bodyform’s superb video response, simply genius!

 

Link to video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bpy75q2DDow

One situation that was not handled so astutely was when a disgruntled Meteor customer posted on their Meteor Ireland page the following message;

Regrettably Meteors response was delayed. Within hours the page post had received over 40,000 ‘Likes’ and a further 2,923 comments with users similarly berating the telecoms for poor customer service. Understandably it won’t always be possible to respond to customers instantaneously but timelines should be an important part of any social media strategy. Leaving posts or comments unattended could be a brand disaster with the nature of the visibility that facebook pertains too.

If there is one thing to take away from this blog, don’t believe everything you read literally. Learn to read between the lines.

– Jen

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