Yesterday, aboard a Delta airlines flight sitting on the tarmac, someone was tweeting. They were venting… releasing into the digital ether a tirade against Delta for being stranded on the tarmac. The flight was due to land, a mere 50 minutes away from its destination when the flight was diverted back to its departure point in NY During this rant that lasted well over an hour, Delta did not respond once.
Complaints ranged from staff conduct, poor communication, and ultimately the delay Delta had caused in their schedule. This wasn’t the worst of it, the tweeter was Piers Morgan. Piers has nearly half a million followers on Twitter, and millions of viewers on TV worldwide. So how does Delta allow a high profile customer to go off for hours without intervention? They most likely had no idea what was happening, and probably didn’t have the proper monitoring and crisis management protocols in place. They most likely do now, and eventually they made nice with Mr. Morgan and he appreciated it. However, it took several hours and the public damage has been done.
This is a magnified example of the challenges brands must face today. Social media provides anyone with a connection and the right device a digital soap box. Everyday regular citizens take to social channels and rant, complain, and report on brand experiences. This has created an always-on customer service situation that brands must address. Some, are rising to the challenge and providing social channels for their customers to connect with them directly.
However, some are still in the Dark Ages when it comes to the new age of customer service (The travel industry are in my opinion the worst offenders). If Delta hadn’t figured it out until now, they’re not alone. Some companies still force you to write a letter if you have a complaint. Some tell you there will be a six to eight week period before you hear back regarding your complaint. That’s quite a long time for me to sit and stew about my issue. Imagine how many negative tweets and Facebook posts I could write in eight weeks! With today’s consumer this is completely unacceptable and those brands will learn the hard way if they don’t change very soon. There is a simple solution. Get the right tools, get the right people and listen to your customers.
Proactive customer service goes a long way with a dissatisfied customer. Really. we all just want to be acknowledged when we feel we’ve been wronged. Have you ever had a customer service experience in social media? Good or Bad, we’d love to hear them so leave us a comment if you’d like!