Like so many others, I’m a pretty active Facebook user. I don’t go crazy with it, posting status updates once or twice a week, but one thing I do use it for is to communicate with companies about their products or services.
It’s well known that companies are becoming more actively involved with social media to engage with their customers. As such, sites like Facebook and Twitter are areas where companies are nowadays expected to interact with users.
More often than not, I find myself hitting the ‘Like’ button for a company when I’m really not liking them at all. Don’t get me wrong, I do ‘Like’ a lot of things that I really do like, but there are times when I ‘Like’ something so that I can get help about something or let the company know that I’m having a problem with something that they’ve provided.
Does it work?
So-so….I was having problems with a steam mop that I had purchased that was still under warranty. The company wasn’t providing the service center with my parts, so I wrote on their wall. They wrote back but with a very generic response.
But, sometimes it does work and voices are heard. Our cable company is moving toward an all digital service, and were in the process of transitioning, but this required some pretty drastic changes to the equipment in our house. I (as well as many others) engaged with their customer service, and in the end they relented and made the transition much less intrusive.
If a company does it right, then when someone ‘Likes’ them because they really don’t like them, hopefully the customer will ‘Like’ them in the end. Taking a negative experience and turning it into a positive experience should be the overall goal of interacting with a displeased customer on a social networking site.
I do think that there has to be reasonable limits. Our grocery store has gas stations at many locations, and they often get blasted for the rising price at the pump. Wisely, they pretty much ignore these type of complaints, but they do respond regularly to complaints about customer service, out of stock items, or other items that can be addressed within reason.
I hope more companies jump on this bandwagon. In the end, social networking may bring customers back to more personal experiences with those that they do business with.