If there is anything I learned from this week’s lecture it’s that problems don’t go away on social media. You can’t sweep things under the rug because you never know what will go viral. I’m sure the tweet example in our lecture wasn’t the first angry post towards British Airways on Twitter but it only took one person to really get mad to make the airline rethink their whole social strategy.
As the saying goes “hindsight is 20/20.” I’m sure if British Airways could go back in time they would do everything differently. To answer the questions posed in our lecture, if I was in British Airways shoes I would have addressed this issue as soon as possible. A simple tweet like “We’re sorry to hear about this. Please private message us so we can take care of your problem” could have pacified this angry customer. As many of us outlined in last week’s assignment, numerous companies are practicing this and it’s getting positive attention from consumers.
It all comes back to simple customer service practices. If this man had complained in person I’m sure BA would have gone out of their way to accommodate him. It should be no different on social media. Clearly this gentleman was very upset and BA lost their opportunity to handle the situation appropriately. Complaining to Twitter is no use since this is a public network and anyone can pay to promote a tweet. Groveling at his feet would be no better. In my opinion the only option BA had was to ask the man directly how they could make it up to him (outside of compensation). I know from my personal experience just a simple I’m sorry and how can I make it better really change my attitude.
I really liked the points of saying “thank you” and following up outlined in our lecture. This is a huge miss many companies don’t take advantage of. If I was in BA’s position I would follow up with the disgruntled customer today and say “We are thinking of you and we hope you’ve had a better experience with British Airlines since we last spoke.” Little nuances like this add up.
Bottom line: many companies forget how to practice great customer service on social media since these interactions are not face-to-face. You can’t forget about your customers just because you can’t see them. More companies should remember the basics of customer service and do their very best to make every customer feel heard and valued.