It’s no secret that social networking sites are all the rage in this day and age. (Notice, now that John Meloche is a rap star, there may be more rhyming in the MeloTel Blog…just saying). Back to the point, people flock to Facebook and Twitter on a daily basis to express every little concern they have each and every day.
With more than 2,200 followers on Twitter (and counting), MeloTel is well aware of the power of social media to spread the word about just about anything. This daily modern-day task, however, is not exclusive to business owners, of course. People from all over the world have the ability to express themselves as well.
Sometimes, however, this expression comes in the form of a demotion of another company. In other words, social media has made it possible for people to express their dissatisfaction with any given company to the world within seconds. Earlier today, The Toronto Star’s business reporter, Vanessa Lu shed some light on this new trend.
She writes that with people tweeting so regularly, businesses are now being forced to quickly step up their customer service games. Just one bad tweet about service at a store, writes Lu, can cause a company’s image to “spiral out of control”. All a consumer needs is a smartphone and a poor customer service experience can become viral within seconds.
Some people even take it a step further. Halifax singer, Dave Carroll had the unfortunate experience of having his guitar broken during a United Airlines flight. The result? A series of “United Breaks Guitars” YouTube videos which have created a “public relations nightmare” for the airline.
So how does a company avoid the pitfalls of being lambasted on the internet? According to Wendy Cukier, who is a professor of information technology management at Ryerson University, “You have to operate your organization as if any employee at any time could be on the six o’clock news. It has heightened the consciousness of how important customer service is.”
As many Torontonians are now well aware, the TTC has become a victim of having its poor customer service become widespread internet fodder. Sleeping bus drivers, for example, have been caught on camera, with the pictures being posted all over the internet. Facebook and Twitter obviously make it a lot easier for customers to complain than writing a letter.
As a business owner, you should do everything in your power to ensure that it’s easy for your customers to feel satisfied with your services time in and time out. Having tweets about how great your business is can, in fact, be the best type of promotion you can receive nowadays.