It seems that in this digital age some brands have forgotten the golden rule of customer service: If a customer has a good experience they will tell one friend, if a customer has a bad experience they will tell 10 friends, or as is the case for Channel 9 consumers; 54,435 strangers. Channel 9′s Facebook Page has been inundated with criticism of the network’s current Olympic coverage. Comments such as “channel 9′s coverage of the Olympics is a joke,” “worst Olympic coverage ever” and “are you trying to make us buy Foxtel or something?” smeared the television network’s page at an alarming rate. Not a single positive comment appears, but what is more alarming is that Channel 9 has not responded to a single one of these comments and seems to even be deleting many of them.
It is problematic that in this digital age some brands still underestimate the power of social media and the affect that two way communication can have on their brand. Social Media Examiner.com revealed Facebook today accounts for 44% of social sharing on the web while it was found by DigitalBuzz that 56% of consumers say that they are more likely to recommend a brand after becoming a fan. However the positive outcomes of these statistics mean nothing if brands are receiving overwhelming negative feedback from consumers and are doing nothing about it.
No brands, nor the people who make up a brand are perfect and bad decisions or mistakes which generate criticism can occur. But brands that overlook Facebook as an important medium to receive critique to improve their actions negatively affect their brand’s equity.
The worst action taken by a brand is to ignore customer comments. This makes it seem as though the issue is being ignored or that the experience of that consumer is not important. Deleting the comment is also a big mistake as Heather Lynn Herr from Right This Minute says the only valid reason to delete a customer’s comment is:
racism, sexism, verbal abuse, inappropriate language (given community or content), pornographic content, blatant antagonistic behavior toward other community members.
Channel 9 needs to remember the traditional principles of customer service: if a customer is dissatisfied with a product or service do everything possible to address the problem immediately and depending on the level of dissatisfaction, offer some type of compensation.
Social media has created a greater need for brands to be fully accountable for their decisions as a greater voice is given to their consumers. If brands don’t learn how to manage this two way dialogue customer trust will be lost as will the brand’s credibility.