How would you handle this communication from a disgruntled customer?
(Note: for full effect, replace the world “widget” with your company’s product or service. And, of course, you work for Company X.)
Dear (Company X):
I just want the widget that I ordered, please. I want the exact widget that I ordered, by the date and time that you said it would be ready and for the quoted price. Really, that’s all I want.
Yes, I do want to know if you’re having problems doing what you told me that you would do. I still won’t be happy if you can’t meet your commitment, but I might be able to adapt to your new plan. But, really, I just want the widget that I ordered.
Yes, emphasizing with how I’m feeling (i.e. wishing nasty things upon you and your kin) might make me feel better when you didn’t do what you said you would do. The first time, that is. But I don’t forget when you’ve let me down.
By the way, I don’t usually like to be recommended, upsold, downsold, cross-sold or know what my friends have bought during the order life cycle. Most of the time I can only afford the widget that I’m buying right now. The main reason that I’m buying from you is that you have a decent promotion or discount that makes it interesting for me. And I badly want (or need) the widget that I ordered by the date that we agreed upon.
Yeah, it’s kind of neat that you’re on Twitter, Facebook and that you have a blog. That is, I care about what you have to say in social media if it’s something that I want or need. I don’t care about how much you gave to the United Way or how your CEO put on a T shirt and shorts and washed cars for a local charity. I also don’t care about which industry awards that you won. Your statements of caring about me and my needs must be matched with acceptable execution in order for your words to have any meaning.
By the way, if you’re only engaging me during the order fulfillment cycle, then you’ve done it wrong. I might be more receptive before I buy something. I’ll definitely be more receptive after you do what you said you were going to do.
Now, can I just have my widget please, when you said I’d get it and for the price that we agreed upon? Hey, if you do all that then, what the heck, I’ll probably follow you back on Twitter. No guarantees that I’ll pay attention, but heck, what’s another message amongst the thousands that I get every day?
Waiting (almost) patiently,
This is a fictional example. But wouldn’t it be great to be running your social media strategy from a position of strength (excellent execution and customer satisfaction) than weakness (your customers hating you?) Otherwise, your social media efforts are going to be band-aids unless you do what you said you’re going to do. And band-aids don’t last very long.