Ignore the online buzz at your peril
Create an enthusiastic customer in the new digital age of user-generated web content and you have an unpaid evangelist who can authentically speak about the merits of your brand. Upset them at your peril.
Publish on demand
A few years ago, poor service or a defective product triggered a letter of complaint, which may have sometimes escalated to the local media. If you were very unlucky, it may have attracted national attention. C’est la vie. You wait a few days; the papers are pulped and then ‘business as usual’. Do you recall the often-quoted conference statistic about the unhappy customer who tells 13 people about their experience. Perhaps, the curt greeting they received from the hotel reception during a recent stay or the iPod that inexplicability stops working precisely one day after the warranty expires? Well, welcome to 2007 where they now go on-line and tell not 13, but 1.3 million about the experience. Upset a ‘tech-savvy’ customer now and you potentially unleash a digital diatribe with a warts and all account posted on dozens of review web sites and personal web logs (blogs), which is captured by the search engines within a few hours. Phase two of the complainant’s strategy is to set up a protest web site and web log and forensically critique and expose any and every customer-facing issue since the company was formed.