Complaints on Facebook - does it matter how you respond Or if you respond

Complaints on Facebook – does it matter how you respond? Or if you respond?

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.

Broken website Quick – Tweet it!!

Broken website? Quick – Tweet it!!

Westpac’s online banking was experiencing problems during business hours. Having tried to use it around 9am, there was definitely some issues with logging in and it was very slow.

Westpac customers who are following Westpac on Twitter were made aware of this by a tweet.

Planned outages on the site would normally have obvious banners throughout the site, warning customers that the site was down for maintenance, so we can only assume this was an unplanned issue, especially given the timing of it.

Westpac were quick to announce to customers via Twitter that they were experiencing problems with online banking, and also responding directly to customer queries.

Why use Twitter rather than the website?

Twitter is a much faster way to get the message out to customers as Westpac is likely to have very structured release cycles that don’t allow for them to quickly change messages on the website.
But they are also trying to quickly respond to the volume of queries or complaints about online banking being unavailable.

This is a good example of using social media to quickly get messages out to customers. But this only seems to translate to the Twitter channel – as there was no mention of this on Westpac’s Facebook page.

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