Many businesses are recognising that social media and customers”voting with their tweet” can cause a tsunami of negative feedback but it’s interesting that some of them, although they’ve established teams of problem handlers to engage with complainants in the twittersphere, still make some fundamental mistakes.
I’ve recently been disappointed by Yodel. The inability of a Yodel lackey to perform the fundamental part of their job (to deliver a parcel to the right address) drove me to fire up Hootsuite, register my grumpiness and see who else had been let down. Lots and lots of folk it turned out, and to be fair Yodel were engaging with each complaining punter in a consistent, some might even suggest scripted way. What soon became very apparent was that they desperately wanted to take the conversation away from the public forum and shift it to Direct Messages and email, both examples of manageable, one-to-one communication.
There’s obvious value for them in this if all they’re trying to do is reduce the noise level, but if they are genuinely going to solve problems rather than trip through a series of scripted platitudes and meaningless apologies there’s real PR value in being seen and being heard addressing and satisfying your unhappy client.
But, sadly that’s the case, they don’t appear to want an authentic conversation, it’s old fashioned hushing-up using a brilliant platform to tell a good story to try and hide a bad one.
What a shame…