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.

Many large organizations have a complaint system in addition to a customer service organization. It is designed to handle the situations where the customer is dissatisfied with the service he received and wants to take the problem to a higher level of management. The complaint department’s responsibility is to listen carefully to the customer’s service complaint, to resolve it or explain why it cannot be resolved in a way that leaves the customer ‘less dissatisfied’. A closed complaint does not mean the customer is satisfied,even if the customer’s request was granted. Here’s an example.

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’.

Mistakes that Make you Look Dumb

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Customer Satisfaction is often measured between an organization and its direct customers. But sometimes the situations that are the most embarrassing are those that involve other organizations, yours and a customer. When there is a system or process that is supposed to work using outside firms and there is a failure, both organizations look dumb. Sometimes a third party needs to get involved to embarrass the organizations to work together. Two examples are covered.

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.

Manulife, a large Canadian insurance company has posted their complaint process on the web for all to see. While the website isn’t pretty, it does provide excellent information. Manulife may not be the best example of a complaint process I have seen, but they are to be commended for having published it for consumers to see.

In an earlier blog post titled How to Get your Lost Customers to Come Back, we covered 2 basic steps: 1. Find out why they left. 2. Look for Opportunities to Engage. What are the strategies a company can use when an individual or committee made a recommendation or decision to leave, and will lose ‘face’ with their peers and management, if they decide to do business with your organization again?

What strategies can you use to overcome this problem?

Every company makes mistakes. When they do, they seek forgiveness from their customers. Customer may vary in their willingness to forgive and forget. Having a high ‘forgiveness’ index is an asset to a company trying to keep customers loyal and satisfied. Temkin, a research company has created a Forgiveness rating from 10,000 US customers across 208 companies and ranked the best and the worst, most improved and biggest losers.

Does the name Dave Carroll ring a bell with you? How about the song ‘United Breaks Guitars’? If you have been watching the development of social media, you are, no doubt aware of the situation Dave Carroll, a musician found himself in, with a broken guitar, damaged by United Airlines and a very stubborn airline that refused to budge on compensation. Dave Carroll, wrote a very catchy tune, posted it on Youtube and the song went viral, attracting the attention of CNN. When CNN phoned United Airlines, they had a different response than Dave Carroll was able to obtain on his own. Dave has decided to become a consumer advocate and with partners has created a new site called Gripevine for consumer complaints.

The Consumerist, an online resource for consumers to learn and report about their issues, recently exposed a situation at a Ford Dealership where a customer was advised that if he didn’t rate the service he received as satisfied, the personnel at the dealership would be financially impacted. In addition, there was an implied threat that the customer would no longer be able to get good service for his car at that dealership in the future, if a bad score was given as they would know about his complaint.

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