Social media is a great vehicle for companies to communicate with their customers and prospects. There are a number of companies using social media really well, and perhaps many more not using it at all or not using it well. We can watch and learn from the experts, but it is just as important to learn from what companies aren’t doing.
Many companies use social media as a channel for customer service, encouraging their customers to use social media as an alternative way of airing customer service issues and getting them resolved. Other companies are very sales focused, and use the channel to promote their latest offers. While the focus may be on one area, there still needs to be attention paid to all elements of the customer experience in social media engagement, in order to ensure that something important, and meaningful to the customer or prospect, isn’t missed.
Catch of the Day is very much focused on the use of social media to promote their offers, and with the type of time-limited offers they have, social media is a perfect fit for them. However it is interesting to note how they aren’t using social media.
COTD don’t seem to be very engaged in community management and the management of the comments that flow on their Facebook wall. While the offers are promoted on the wall, and there are lots of positive comments about them, and notes of positive experiences, there are also a lot of comments about negative experiences.
The Facebook wall isn’t only open to existing customers, prospective customers are also looking at these comments, and the negativity can create reluctance to deal with the company. Although negative comments could be removed by the administrator of the wall, this isn’t the best way to create an honest transparent relationship with fans or followers. However, we’re surprised that COTD hasn’t done more to try and address the negative comments, and use the opportunity to turn around the sentiment of these customers (and re-assure nervous prospective customers)
As a new prospective customer, the sentiment from these types of messages indicates that dealing with COTD might be risky, take a long time, or that the goods I order might not be satisfactory. While there may be plenty of evidence to the contrary, nervous first time online shoppers, or those new to the COTD model, may be more easily influenced in a negative direction, rather than a positive one.
On the day we reviewed this, the community manager at one point does step in to address one specific customer query, but the dozens of other negative sentiments in the stream are not addressed.