Archive for the 'Feedback to Customers' Category

In 2009, I wrote an article about how United Airlines broke a singer’s guitar by mishandling his baggage and refused to pay for the damage. He wrote a song about it and it went viral, causing United to reverse its decision and a public relations nightmare for the company. Normally customer dissatisfaction of that magnitude should cause financial hardship to a company unless they change their policies.

Instagram sparks User Revolt and Lawsuit

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

Instagram, a photo sharing app, caused a user revolt when it changed its terms and conditions, claiming it could sell user photos without compensation. A lawsuit was also filed based on the restriction about users right to sue, also changed in the terms and conditions revision.

Rogers, a Canadian communications company providing services like Cellular phone coverage, internet, Cable TV and Land line phones experienced an outage recently on two of its services, Cellular and Internet. Communication was poorly handled and the company was perceived to be ‘missing in action’.

Every company, government agency and not for profit organization needs to consider how it will respond to social media and complaints. Some mentions will be positive and some will be negative. Policies or instructions needs to be documented for the front line staff that will be responding to these postings. While this used to be the responsibility of the public relations departments in the past, social media, blogs, and complaint sites have made this task grow exponentially and with it the need to engage a broader group of employees as responders.

Every customer has an economic value. Customers provide repeat business and cash flow. They are your best prospects for additional product and services and they can provide you with positive references and referrals, which lowers the cost of acquiring new customers. So the loss of a customer is serious. Here are some techniques to get customers back.

Just a few days after FedEx had a delivery fiasco go viral on Youtube, UPS was caught in a similar situation. While not as extreme as the FedEx error, the driver was quite intentional in his action. The driver gave the camera that was recording him the’ third finger salute’ and then threw the box on the customer’s doorstep. The box appears to be from Zappos. It is possible that the contents were shoes or clothing which were not likely to break but Zappos do sell accessories which might be damaged. Here’s the video which has been seen far fewer times though other sites also are showing the video. Notice the difference in how the crisis was handled by UPS compared to Fed Ex.

On Dec 19, 2011, a Youtube video was uploaded showing a FedEx Employee delivering a monitor by throwing it over the fence. It went viral. As I write this post it has been seen more than 5.7 Million times. Imagine the embarrassment of FedEx! FedEx responded with a video of their own with 11 elements worth noting. Alas the video has only been seen by about 5% of those who saw the first video.

IBM has published a study of over 1700 Chief Marketing Officers titled From Stretched to Strengthened, Insights from the Global Chief Marketing Officer Study which highlights the changes the marketplace is going through and the need for businesses to adapt.

If you ever needed a case study on why customer satisfaction is important and what havoc lack of customer satisfaction can have on a company, look no further than the recent situation with Netflix. It lost 800,000 subscribers in the United States in one quarter and over 25% of its stock price.

In a recent Zoomerang survey, called Marketing in a Digital World, 1180 SMB decision makers in U.S. businesses with less than 1,000 employees provided insight into how they use social media tools (particularly Facebook) to interact for business purposes. One of the key takeaways from the survey is that what small businesses value most from social media is customer satisfaction data. And consumers praise more than complain.

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