This is a continuation of a living social media case study involving US Airways, my blog and a lil bit of Twitter. Many of you saw part one of this post. You can (and should) read it but here’s the brief summary:
- A flight attendant on US Airways was rude to my wife and me.
- I wrote a blog post to see if they were listening.
- Some people commented with far worse experiences than ours
So here’s the update.
A woman from US Airways Customer Service called my wife because the “Media Department” notified the customer service department of my blog post. OK, not too bad. After a little back and forth they gave us some coupons for our inconvenience and poor experience. They covered their bases. What was odd though was that the customer service rep kept stressing that “we don’t normally respond to blogs or Twitter, we don’t have the staff.”
Here’s the thing…
The point of my blog post wasn’t to get free shit. The point of my blog post was “Are you listening?” It’s the concept Marcel Lebrun of Radian 6 calls “The Social Phone.” Chris Brogan touched on this in a post just yesterday: Our Many New Phones.
If I wanted some coupons or something, I probably could’ve emailed them, or called their number and waited on hold for a few hours. The point of the post is in the title “Are you listening?” The answer “we don’t have the staff” isn’t good enough. It’s not just not good enough for us the customers, it shouldn’t be good enough for the shareholders.
If you owned a business and people were talking about that business, wouldn’t you want to know what they were saying? And if that conversation could negatively impact the reputation of the company and influence other people’s decision to use that service, wouldn’t you want to intervene? THAT is the point.
According to a global Nielsen survey of 26,486 Internet users in 47 markets, consumer recommendations are the most credible form of advertising among 78% of the study’s respondents. (Nielsen, “Word-of-Mouth the Most Powerful Selling Tool”, October 2007) via:Bazaarvoice
The point is that you SHOULD be listening, you should care enough to get the staff for that!
69% of companies using Web 2.0 have gained measurable business benefits. (McKinsey Quarterly, September 2009) via:Bazaarvoice
Comcast has a team of people exclusively for Twitter and they literally shook the world of customer service with that tactic! People are talking about US Airways whether they listen or not and all they are doing by not listening and not intervening is doing themselves, their shareholder and their customers a disservice.
An additional component to this story: Someone who commented on the original story, when my blog was at jeffgibbard.com had a horrible experience with US Airways so when US Airways called me I told them that they had to contact this person and try to make it right because their experience was so much worse than mine. If they were going to try and fix my situation, they owed it to this person as well. I received word that US Airways did reach out and provide some coupons to them as well. It’s a shame it had to take as long as it did to fix their problem, but I’m glad US Airways at least made the attempt.