Friday, April 20, 2012

The Curious Case of the Online Whinger

The social media has turned us all into a commentator, a critic, a passionate advocate of the good, the bad and the ugly. Customers today, are just scaring the living daylights out of companies. Not sure when they are going to strike, companies cannot choose to be Frankenstein and allow the hoards to overcome them. Complaining and letting the world know what went wrong with your service provider has become a matter of duty today. And in this environment, culling out the complaint from the tantrum creates a unique dilemma, the kind of dilemma you cannot choose to ignore.

Social media forums like Facebook, Twitter and review forums have enabled crowds to converge upon a brand and rip it apart or give it a new lease of life. In an age where response and monitoring mechanisms are evolving constantly, brands do not have a choice but act in the now. Real time. Sifting the tantrums from genuine complaints becomes imperative because even with the vast tools at a company’s disposal, they still cannot possibly address every concern. Attacking the genuine ones with decisiveness and tact, and dealing with tantrums with kid gloves becomes key. Failing which, social media could very easily become a resource draining platform in more ways than one.

Over 1000 complaints turn up every hour across online public forums and social media sites. Right from service delivery to a service executive’s behavior is weighed up and attacked today. The customer is completely justified in venting, but an unresponsive company is not justified in being aloof. Companies need to take this opportunity they have been given by their customers to start owning a forum that has in more ways than one, been created by them. Ignore at your own peril.

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