How to avoid a Twitter backlash
Yet again, we’ve seen another high profile brand being outsmarted by a disgruntled customer, in a very public fashion.
Having failed to deal with a lost luggage issue efficiently, British Airways has found itself at the tail-end of a tech-savvy customer who didn’t stop at simply tweeting his complaint; he went one better and paid to have it promoted. With more people taking every opportunity that technological developments are presenting to them to outsmart brands, it seems bizarre that businesses are still failing to ensure that the customer experience being delivered is watertight. Worse still, brands continue to be surprised when faced with a social media crisis. So, what action should they be taking to avoid a promoted tweet backlash?
The BA example has again amplified why brands must start putting the customer experience first. Not only should brands be investing in the experience itself, they must also be up to speed on how a negative experience can, and will, be shared with many in a matter of seconds. A potentially damaging prospect if contingency plans are not put in place.
Ensuring social media is integrated into the complete customer experience will enable brands to respond faster. As brands such as O2 have shown previously, a Twitter crisis can be turned to their advantage, if businesses are savvy and address the issue correctly. Being proactive and reactive in Twitter responses, and providing an honest and human touch can calm even the angriest person. Acknowledging the individual and the issue publicly can go a long way towards repairing the broken relationship.
Yes, the customer is upping the ante. We may well be about to witness more people using promoted tweets in order to make themselves heard, but the brands putting experience and service first, and doing it well will breed happy customers.
Ultimately, good businesses with great customer services have always driven positive word of mouth. Today, platforms like Twitter and Facebook are helping to spread that endorsement through word of mouth further. Brands shouldn’t be afraid to take the lead from customers, and use social media to amplify positive experiences, instead of allowing it become a tool for customer complaints. Marketing has become as much about reputation management, as anything else and we’ll be watching with interest to see whether this latest Twitter battle spurs more brands into action to catch up with the increasingly savvy customer.
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