Precisely what I keep telling people who ask me about social media, and if it is important to have a Facebook Page; and why do they need Twitter, and so on. But here’s one thing that surprised the heck out of me three years ago when I did a “Social Media for the Workplace” training with one of the four big telcos in the Philippines: they disabled messaging and posting on their Facebook Page because all they got were complaints. And this comment was coming from two people from marketing communications and customer service. Geez!
A Complaint is a Gift, Guys!
In the real world and much too in the telephone world, customer service being “a promise to deliver,” a complaint is something I was taught and learned from grassroots-level experience never to ignore because one rebuffed complainer will tell 9-10 people their complaint, and it will and has always cost ten times more to recruit new customers than to keep one. So, treating a complaint as a gift makes front liners, managers and business owners deal with the complaint as thanking the customer for telling them what their problem is. Fixing the problem is another thing.
So, why does it have to be different in social networking or social media? Only because it is a new medium of communication doesn’t mean we ignore the fundamental philosophies behind serving a customer? The method of conversation may be new and different but the needs of a complaining customer remain the same. As my favorite rock band once sang, “The Song Remains the Same.” The way to effective customer service will remain same no matter what medium is used.
Here’s what triggered me to recall that Telco’s insane idea to switch-off messaging and posting in their Facebook Page.
Finally, you may be wondering what that photo of me with four lovely girls is doing in this article. Well, the woman on the right is the bar or club’s promoter and host while the three other ladies are bartenders. They have one of the hardest jobs in the world – they sell fun. Good, clean fun. Through drinks. On-the-spot and on-demand. So, they need to listen to complaints as clear as the noontime sun; otherwise, people will stop going to the club and they all lose their jobs. To them, a complaint is a gift – every second from the time they clock in.
Oh, and that’s (L-R) Kat, Mishael or M, Linda and Fran, the original and best bartender group I’ve ever met.