Social media has certainly given the power back to the consumer. But sometimes the consumer doesn’t do nice things with that power. While it could be a matter of perception (the overwhelming sentiment of most brands in online conversational analysis is positive), it certainly seems like the only time we take note of brand mentions online is when someone is whining or bitching about them.
AT&T is one brand that gets unnecessarily beaten about its head and face a lot online. I’ve never quite understood this, perhaps because I’m A) Practical in nature and understand technology messes up sometimes; and B) A fairly happy customer.
Last week, I had two opportunities to experience AT&T. A button on my AT&T U-Verse television remote is not working, so I hopped online to see if I could get a replacement. Within a minute or so of browsing around, I found the live support chat for U-Verse, offered up my problem, answered a series of questions and was told my remote was on its way … no charge.
Separately, I went to my local AT&T store to have my wireless modem replaced since the new operating system with my MacBookPro doesn’t agree with the old one. Michael, the sales associate who greeted me, recommended I upgrade to a MyFi unit which would not only give more than one device access and save me $10 per month on my bill, but it came with a $50 rebate. When I left the store, I got this email:
Personalized, relevant and useful. It even includes the personal contact information for Michael, the actual guy who helped me. I haven’t seen that from many retail stores before. Nice touch.
I’m sure plenty of people have had bad experiences with AT&T, as well as with other brands. But why do we rush to the Twitters of the world when we’re pissed, but aren’t apt to do so when we have a good experience?
My mother used to tell me if you can’t say something nice about someone, you shouldn’t say anything at all. Of course, I seldom heed my mother’s advice, but in this case it might be appropriate.
Certainly, as consumers, we have a right to bitch. But we should also take the opportunity to not.
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