In today’s technology space, you don’t need to be Barack Obama or the Queen to get heard. Gone are the days when you needed a grandstand and a press following to spark conversation amongst the masses. With a Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus account, one status update can end up circulating the globe. This new landscape creates a more level playing field for small businesses without the marketing and PR budgets of their Fortune 500 counterparts. For once, the benefits and pitfalls of a customer experience going viral are one and the same, meaning customer engagement needs to be positive 100% of the time.
Today, the “Chris King from Sainsbury’s is a Legend” Facebook page has 4,376 likes. According to Simply Zesty, the original Facebook post that sparked this tribute page has over 55,000 comments and has been shared 18,000 times. That’s a massive amount of public approval for Chris’s response to three-year-old Lily asking by mail why Tiger bread wasn’t called giraffe bread. The fact that Sainsbury’s is getting a mention in this and multiple other articles - even six months later - is testament to the benefits of good customer service going viral.
Conversely, YouTube brims over with viral videos in which disgruntled customers turned their complaints into songs and skits. Their goal: to get community support when customer support has refused to listen. Simply search for #Fail in Twitter and see how many businesses get mentioned for poor customer service. To capitalize on positive exposure, or to prevent a complaint going viral, it is essential to see social media listening as part of the customer service remit. For this reason, we at Casengo included social media integration in our software, as fantastic support should occur across all channels.