I have to preface this story with a few things. 1) My hubby is not in marketing. He’s a finance guy. It’s all about cost and benefit. 2) He loves to try to negotiate everything, that’s why he is in charge of all major purchases in my household. 3) He buys everything except groceries online. Hates shopping and malls. 4) He’s an online introvert. He has never blogged in his life, doesn’t have a Facebook page, doesn’t know that Twitter exists, and isn’t even on Linked In. He thinks the more time you spend in your online communities, the less time you have for your “real” offline community. He says he doesn’t “get it.”
What he does get is the power of Social Media.
He’s wanted a big HD flat screen forever. Just wanted to wait for the price point to come down (cost/benefit here). So finally, I gave him “permission” to go buy one for his birthday. He researched it for about a month, went to brick and mortars to make sure he found the right model, and during the holiday season found an etailer who had a great price and fair shipping fee.
He looked at all the online reviews and ratings for this etailer because they weren’t the company with the smiling boxes. They had great ratings and online customer comments.
Well…after two attempts at delivery, we were still waiting for TV nirvana. Two TVs were damaged during shipping. It wasn’t the etailer’s fault or even the shipping company’s fault; I think it was a package design issue. However, after the second failed delivery, we didn’t hear from the etailer for a week. After a week of trying to be patient, my hubby’s had run out. Apparently, the model he ordered was now out of stock.
He told the customer service rep that he wanted to cancel the order and that he would spend his entire day online, writing not so nice epinions about their company and their poor customer service.
“Please hold, I’d like you to talk to my manager.”
Manager gets on the phone. Apologies all around. “I will personally make sure we put the next model up ($500+ more value) on a truck today. Please wait until your experience with us is complete before writing any comments online.” My hubby agreed. He actually just wanted his TV for the Super Bowl.
Smart customer service manager. He knew my hubby could do more than $500 worth of damage writing bad reviews. Moral of the story – empower your frontline customer service employees to do a little reputation management and prevent negative social media.