Marketing, Motherhood, and Mayhem

Social Media can BITE back on Bad Customer Service

October 25th, 2010 by Deb McLean

“Back in the Day” if a consumer had a bad experience with a brand they might tell a friend who might tell a friend and that poor experience might be shared with a dozen people.  Today is vastly different.  Each and everytime a brand deals with an unhappy consumer, they run the risk of the way they handle it becoming a viral campaign that could effect their bottom line.

Here’s a prime example, a musician named Dave Carroll recently had difficulty with United Airlines. United apparently damaged his treasured Taylor guitar ($3500) during a flight. Dave spent over 9 months trying to get United to pay for damages caused by baggage handlers to his custom Taylor guitar.
During his final exchange with the United Customer Relations Manager, he stated that he was left with no choice other than to create a music video for youtube exposing their lack of cooperation. The Manager responded: “Good luck with that one, pal”.

So he posted a retaliatory video on youtube. The video has since received nearly 6 million hits. United Airlines contacted the musician and attempted settlement in exchange for pulling the video. Naturally his response was: “Good luck with that one, pal”.

Taylor Guitars sent the musician 2 new custom guitars in appreciation for the product recognition from the video that has led to a sharp increase in orders.  Wonder how many flights United Airlines lost because of how they handle one incident?

It’s always been critical for any product to resolve customer complaints quickly and efficiently,  but it’s never been more important than it is today.

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