Next Stop: Using Social Media to call out a company

In my last post I discussed how and when to get a supervisor to address your concerns. The next step in your journey through escalating an issue is to advertise your displeasure. If you are not getting satisfaction from a supervisor or manager, you may want to consider leveraging social media.

Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are amazing tools to represent the voice of the customer. Most companies are listening. They have no choice. Some companies choose to bury their heads and avoid reviewing or participating in these sites. They are not customer focused and you will have to escalate further (more on that in my next post).

Be sure that you are capturing the right audience. Do a search on Twitter for example, to see if the company has an official account. Tweet a heads up to them that you are not happy and support is not satisfying. Make sure it is timely. If you tweet about something that happened months ago, they are less likely to spring into action.

Check for a company Facebook page and write a message or messages on their wall until you are noticed. Add notes to your page about your experience and add frequent updates (private or public). Using Twitter or Facebook will likely result in a company rep reaching out to you to request a private discussion by phone.

My personal favourite is to leverage LinkedIn connections. Firstly, do you or anyone you know have a contact that works directly at the company you are having trouble with? How big is the company and what is their position? Start with those connections and let them know what you are trying to accomplish. They may be able to help. If you don’t have any 1st or 2nd degree connections, do an internet search for executives of the company. Then track them down on LinkedIn.

After a terrible experience with FG Bradley’s (a Canadian specialty games store) support, I decided to track down someone senior. I was able to search for and connect with the owner. My sale was worth less than $40. He was immediately helpful, corrected the issue and promised to review the process with his staff. It wasn’t some empty promise from a random person, I believe him. He has kept a customer for life because of the way I was treated. It was because I took an extra few minutes to track him down on LinkedIn.

On the other hand I tried to connect with the Via Rail Customer Experience Executive. You would think that helping or enabling customers would be this person’s mandate. He ignored two requests. I also tried tweeting Via which got their attention. A senior person contacted me back. This was a sale worth $300, dragged on and has not yet had a conclusion. Via has lost a customer for life but they haven’t heard the last of me.

The next step in this journey is to get third party involved. More on that next time.

Readers: Have you ever used social media to get a company’s attention? What was the result?

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