Saturday, November 19, 2011

Responding to Tweet Complaints Helps Brands Deliver More Than a Product

An article in the EMarketer posed the question, “when consumers tweet complaints, should brands respond?” The answer is “YES!” The answer stems from two examples: brides and pizza. You may be asking yourself, “What do they have to do with each other?” Simply, they are both very time sensitive deliveries. One down the aisle and the other to your front door, well actually I am sure there are weddings that include pizza but that is a different blog post entirely….OK, back to brides, pizza and marketing.
First, let’s talk about brides, actually one bride in particular who utilized the power of social media to make sure that her wedding weekend was not ruined. One of my friends from my graduate school program recently got married. Upon engagement (prior to beginning graduate school) she and her husband-to-be selected a date in May for the big day. Little did she know this date was the weekend before finals. Yuck…I know! Because of this, timing was crucial and she had to use every possible moment to study. With that said, the beautiful bride-to-be had to fly out first thing in the morning to kick off the wedding festivities. Chicago to New York in May…should be a simple trip. She arrived at the airport, wedding dress in hand, and found out her Delta flight had been cancelled without justification and she was rebooked on a flight that evening. This would not do, as she had wedding festivities to attend that afternoon. While most people would have a panic attack and declare it the end of the world, this marketing savvy bride leveraged the power of social media. She notified her friends and within minutes the “Let the Bride Fly” campaign targeting Delta went live via Twitter. What could have been a reputation nightmare for Delta, became a valuable example of what brands should do when customers complain. AJ @DeltaAssist was listening via Twitter and saved the day by booking the bride on the next flight out to ensure that she was delivered on time for her weekend of celebration.
Now on to pizza! Recently I was at a Social Media Summit. The speaker kicking off the day was Ramon DeLeon, from Domino’s pizza. I saw this in the meeting agenda and thought to myself, “what can I learn about social media from a Domino’s Pizza employee?” Shame on me because Ramon quickly wowed me not only with his larger than life presence but with the story of how he started as a part time Domino’s pizza delivery boy and today owns six Domino’s locations. He has evolved to become a leader in social and guerilla marketing. With over 11,500 Twitter followers, @Ramon_DeLeon proves when a brand listens AND responds to a customer complaint it pays off! A great example is when a customer ordered pizza from her neighborhood Domino’s for a Bears football party. After having to experience a long wait she took to the power of Twitter and complained. Ramon saw this and not only responded but sent her tickets to the next Bears game to apologize. While most would think this went above and beyond the call of duty, Ramon took it to the next step. The following year, he followed up with the Bears fan via Twitter and offered to cater a football viewing party to kick off the season. This is why he is called Ramon Wow!
Both of these examples reinforce why I adamantly believe that brands must respond to customer complaints. Twitter is no longer a mechanism merely for friends to chat, it has become a new and powerful channel of customer service. In my eyes this can benefit the brand more than the consumer as it allows marketers a powerful and trackable way to connect with consumers. It is a deposit in the “Goodwill Bank” that can be tracked by tweets, retweet and comments. These interactions can not only increase customer loyalty but if done well can result in free PR. A final example is when a local blogger complained about Domino’s service. Ramon saw this and taped a video apology that has been viewed over 125,000 times. That is more valuable than any ad.
Next time a customer voices a complaint via social media think about brides, pizza and how you can “wow” then with a simple response.
Amanda Salhoot
M.S. Candidate 2011 | Integrated Marketing Communications
Twitter: @asalhoot

1 comment:

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