As a Senior Manager or Business Owner, you’re likely already familiar with the impact social media has on influence marketing. Literally billions of dollars have been spent promoting an organizational voice, establishing relationships with target markets, and heralding brand identities. Because your reputation is always at risk. When it comes to individual user experiences and interactions – social media has proven useful in establishing the performance and credibility from positive reviews. Unfortunately, the reverse is also true.
Your organizational identity can suffer from online reviews if the comments posted are negative criticism from those who have an otherwise dissatisfying experience with your organization. Just typing that sentence reminded me of one my favorite examples – and while this story involving a customer is often easily accepted, look past the story itself and focus instead on the mechanics that enabled the outcome(s), for they apply to every organization regardless of size or industry.
“United Breaks Guitars”
Here’s the story:
A singer/songwriter named Dave Carroll was changing planes at Chicago’s O’Hare airport when he heard another passenger say, “My God! They’re throwing guitars out there!” In a flash of horror, Dave and the other band members looked out and immediately recognized their checked instruments. Upon reaching his final destination he discovered that his $3,500 Taylor guitar’s neck had been broken. And the 9 month customer service nightmare began (United’s position was that he waited longer than 24 hours to submit the claim, so… sorry).
Getting nowhere, the singer-songwriter did what he does best – wrote a song and produced a YouTube video about it. After the first 150,000 views, United changed their tune, agreeing to pay to have the bad PR removed. Dave said “no thanks” (missing a wonderfully funny opportunity to tell them they should have made their request within 24 hours) and suggested they give the money to charity.