Companies that provide poor customer service can’t ride out the sit­u­a­tion

Companies that provide poor customer service can’t ride out the sit­u­a­tion

Social media has shifted the balance of power

Companies that provide poor customer service can’t ride out the sit­u­a­tion

Com­panies these days must under­stand that every­body has a voice. So the best way to avoid a pub­lic rela­tions night­mare is to give great cus­tomer ser­vice right out of the gate. “It’s a bad day when a customer’s upset,” says Dave Car­roll, cre­ator of the musi­cal tril­ogy United Breaks Gui­tars.

United repeatedly refused to listen and take corrective action after damaging the guitars of Dave Carroll. He eventually wrote a song in response that have been viewed 15 mil­lion times since it went live a year ago and is among the most-watched video in the his­tory of YouTube. The inci­dent has gone down as per­haps the ulti­mate self-inflicted cus­tomer rela­tions screw-up by a major cor­po­ra­tion in the social media era of empow­ered cus­tomers.

Com­pa­nies pro­vid­ing poor cus­tomer ser­vice can’t ride out the sit­u­a­tion as in the past,” Car­roll says. United ran Car­roll through the bureau­cratic ringer for 9 months before giv­ing him a defin­i­tive answer about his com­pen­sa­tion claim: No. “I was almost out of options but I wasn’t because social media allowed me to express myself in a cre­ative way:

As for Car­roll, his viral hits on YouTube have helped juice his career as an inde­pen­dent musi­cian and, now, a pub­lic speaker. CD sales are “through the roof,” he says, and he’s field­ing offers to play gigs and to write songs.

This is defin­i­tive a proof of how social media has shifted the bal­ance of power toward cus­tomers and away from arro­gant companies.

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About The Author

Torben Rick

Experienced senior executive, both at a strategic and operational level, with strong track record in developing, driving and managing business improvement, development and change management. International experience from management positions in Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

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