Social media is no longer just about chatting with your friends and sharing pictures- over the past few years we’ve seen it become a popular medium for offering our opinion on customer service. When our package doesn’t arrive on time, or our train is delayed, many of us turn to Twitter to make a complaint. If you’re cynical about whether the organisation you’re complaining to will do anything about it, this recent example might persuade you…
One lucky person won an O2 competition over Twitter that promised him free pizza. When the pizza didn’t arrive, he turned to Twitter to express his disappointment to O2, and threatened to take his business to rival mobile network operator, Three. When Three saw this, it tweeted that a selection of pizzas and ice cream was on the way to him, clearly trying to get one up on its competitor. O2 then replied to offer him a free pizza every week for a year. It seems that some brands will do anything to keep their customers (and get one over on a competitor) and other brands will do anything to win new customers!
This bizarre pizza bidding war demonstrates that social media is an effective mechanism for customers to complain and companies to show they care, and as a B2B PR agency we’ve seen many organisations increasingly turn to Twitter to handle complaints and minimise customer upset. With a quick tweet consumers can complain or enquire about something, and often there will be a social media executive from that organisation on hand to offer a solution. This recent example shows us that bringing a competitor into it can be beneficial too. The mere mention of taking your custom elsewhere, resulted in a far better resolution for the customer.
So next time you experience a business that falls short of adequate customer service- send them a tweet and threaten to go to a competitor. Who knows what might come your way….
Alex Brown has just started his career at Skout PR and will be a regular contributor to the Skout blog.