United States of Whiners
Social Media is a boom for whiners. Business blogging and social media professionalsneed to be wary of disgruntled customers. In the age of “Outrage”, everyone is pissed about the perceived injustice happening to them.
Today, someone is not happy with getting “no” for an answer. They start a campaign against the company by starting a Twitter account or a boycott Facebook Page. The demands people are making are unreasonable. They want a replacement, an upgrade to the next model and a lifetime warranty on the replacement. If you don’t comply, they are going to bash you on social media. But, “We are honoring our warranty – why is that not good enough?” (Because my friend told me if I whine the loudest, I will get everything I want).
Some companies deserved the treatment they received. The United Airlines guitar incident was one. United Airlines did the wrong thing. The Volvo girl in San Francisco with her Viking video was a clever piece of work to highlight bad service.
For some companies, people can be unreasonable.
The example I gave above is one. A consumer product company was honoring its warranty to fix their product. The customer was not happy with the solution. She really wanted them to replace it because the product was 8 years old. So, alternatives were given. We will give you refund, if you have the receipt. It was a gift to us, so I don’t have the receipt. We will replace the item with another model with a 1 year warranty. “No, I don’t want that either.” Seriously? She wanted a replacement with a lifetime warranty on the product because they were trying to screw her by honoring the original warranty to fix it.
So, what did this person do? Started a campaign against the company.
If you are not participating in Social Media, my business partner’s new book, “NO Bullshit, Social Media” is a good read. See, people are out there talking about you whether you know it or not. Ignoring it is the wrong thing. Idiots like the example above can destroy your brand. Embracing the market is the wise thing to do. You have to be out there listening to what people are saying. You have to respond directly to what is being said. You have to speak directly and in their language.
- Document everything between yourself and a disgruntled customer.
- Document what they are saying online
- Talk to legal for assistance, if it is libel
- Don’t argue with them online – not good to feed the troll
You need to defend your brand.