Social media and review sites put brands under increasing scrutiny. There are certain types of sectors that are particularly exposed such as utilities companies, estate agents and any business where there’s likely to be some disagreement or conflict between parties. Car hires are such businesses. Here’s a quick story to demonstrate.
Andy Bull of MDU Lighting:
I’m just booking my holiday and although I fly with Ryanair weekly, I am very skeptical of them and hidden charges. I was about to book my car hire through their partner, Hertz, when I thought I would google to see if anyone else was having a moan, and sure enough there were. But you will note that Hertz used it to contact her and resolve the issue. At the beginning of the story I wouldn’t book through them. Now I will.
The Hertz customer on the linked website said:
Full marks to Hertz for their use of Social Media like Twitter and Facebook to respond to customer feedback and also to their customer service team who eventually refunded me the charge, after initially saying it would have to stand.
The moral of the story:
Social media can be used as a powerful customer service tool, which can not only assist the customer in question but also subsequent customers. This wouldn’t happen in quite the same way with a phone call or a letter.
Social media can be scary, as you or your company is up there to be publicly criticised. However, a company with good products, good customer care and a sound social media presence can use this transparency to their advantage, and gain respect and sales.
Every company, however big or small, makes mistakes. At times there will probably be an unhappy customer or two. It is how the company deals with these customers and their problems which will determine how well it is perceived.
In this instance, Hertz were in control of their social media and were able to respond accordingly. Had they ignored this lady, not dealt with her problem to her satisfaction, or, even worse, not been aware of this comment; her blog post may have been much more negative, and this may have prompted more bad comments. Instead, Hertz earned themselves a customer (our Andy) from a previous customer being happy with their customer service. Good work!