Why take a bite of social media when you can’t chew it?

by Ashvini on October 8, 2011 · 13 comments

in Social Media

Some companies have really not understood the concept of social media well before they jumped on it. There is a company which runs a number of modern looking printing outlets. You can just walk in and get the stuff such as cards, calendars , posters printed.

The company’s outlets are big dichotomies, the best end-product and least motivated employees. I absolutely adore their products but often find it a pain when their employees behave like they are working in some government office.

I do not fault them though. I do not see them motivated enough. As a result there are long lines and really dissatisfied customers.

To cut the story short, they almost inundated me with mails that there are finally on social media i.e mostly on Facebook. They have not started their twitter services, I do not know why.

I always wanted to tell them that their services suck. I thought it was a good opportunity. I logged in to my machine to check their Facebook page. Once there , I saw that their Facebook page had status messages pointing out to their products, their services. Nowhere, they talked about anything else that was relevant such as employees.

I write on their wall about how long their lines were and how boring was their customer service. I expect at least one response.

Next day , I found that my message is gone. Deleted !!!!  It was absolutely clear that they had deleted my message. I wonder why they kept the wall open at all, if they did not want someone to write on it.

Incensed , I put one more comment under their status message, below another message by an irate customer.

It seems they are getting more bricks than bouquets. Good for them!! What were they expecting ? Flowers? Till today my message has not been answered but not been deleted though. Good , they have at least started learning basics of social media.

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Veronica Cervera@coconut grove condos October 16, 2011 at 5:12 am

A lot of companies do seem to miss the point in social media and tend to use it for promotional / advertisement purposes only. Social media can definitely work for anyone’s business if used the right way. If used wrong, there are definitely some consequences. Instead of using it to boost customer experience and provide excellent service, it can create dissatisfaction as well if used incorrectly.

Daria Steigman October 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Hi Ashvini,

I don’t know whether to laugh or bang my head against the table. Do they really think if they erase the comments the problems will vanish?

On the one hand, this is a big reason some companies are reluctant to use social media (fear of negativity and paralysis at how to handle negative comments). What they don’t factor in, however, is that the conversations are happening anyway–so they might as well listen to them and develop a strategy to respond. Well, that and actually tackling employee morale and improving their customer service.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Hey Daria,
I am equally frustrated as you are with the turn of event. Frankly , there were no alternative to professional printing ( with so well designed , well thought out shops). But it is all a waste, if customers have to wait for many minutes for their turn. It feels just like government banks here.
All I wanted to say was that their service was not so great while product was excellent. I think they only saw half the message.
But now I have found a few websites which offer the same services. Hopefully their customer service is much better than the one I talked about.
Thank you for your real insightful comments .
Best regards,

Adrienne October 12, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Hey Ashvini,

Well, it’s very obvious they don’t even understand what social media is all about. Dah!

I personally know that when I go into a store and their service is horrible, I’ll go out of my way to never go there again. If I had a personal experience with a company and found their site online, I would sent them a message and let them know my disappointment. Then again, if this particular company is deleting all negative posts, it’s obvious they aren’t going to openly address the issues. What a shame.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Hey Adrienne,
Apologies for late reply. I was stuck on a tech problem .And I have to get it resolved you know ;). Till recently they were the only available option around my area. But guess their idea has caught on and a few more are popping up. I can see that their shops are not full as they used to be. I just wondered why they moved on social media without preparing for it altogether.
I found a few online shops like theirs. I hope at least they keep their customer’s happy.

Thank you for your comment, tweets and sharing. I really appreciate it.

Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech October 12, 2011 at 7:42 pm

Hi Ashvini, I agree with the other commenters, great points! A company can generate a lot of good will by publicly addressing the complaints of its customers. Social media can be a very useful tool for those who use it wisely. It will be interesting to learn the outcome of your post. Please keep us advised if there are any further developments!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:10 pm

Hi Carolyn,

Thank you so much for your comment and the shares on the net.
I think that they are in their first stage of understanding what social media is all about. I don’t get it because they are an entrepreneur run company and they should have a good understanding of the way social media works.
I will try to approach them once again and let us see what happens
See you on your blog soon.
Best regards,

Aswani October 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

Interesting post Ashvini. I think I am not reading it for the first time. I have been through many similar experiences where people have vented out their frustration on social networks over companies which have failed to meet their expectations. In fact, I had also written and shared one post related to a similar experience, on my blog if you remember –

The guy in the post had taken a very similar step only to badmouth Vodafone 3G services in Mumbai. But instead of looking at his complaint and doing the needful, he was being forced to remove his comments from the Vodaphone facebook page and was also subjected to severe mental harassment and the company even had resorted to sue him in the court for the same.

Now, what have you to say about the same? I think it was company’s fault in the end. If you expect your customers to be good at you then you have to be good first in whatever products or services you provide…plain simple..! Also, companies must be ready to face criticism in case of failing short of customers expectations. And companies must avoid having their presence of social networks if they cannot promote openness and digest negative feedback from their end users. Negative feedback should be seen as a reminder…which of course can help companies in serving their customers better in the long run..!

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:38 pm

hey Aswani,

It is indeed sad when companies go out of their way to humiliate their customers for e.g. by bringing a lawsuit. It does not do any good for them. In the short term, it may be really satisfying but in the long term , they are sure going to lose a lot of customers.
I think the culture of openness is still missing from the examples of companies you have given. They need to work more and work hard at building customer’s trust rather than suing them in court.
Thanks for your wonderful comment. It adds great value to the discussion.
Best regards,

andreas@Flyttirmor Stockholm October 11, 2011 at 11:13 am

Great post! I really agree with you. Companies has uses social media as one big part of their advertising medium. It is to communicate with their customers, get feed backs and interact with them. It is their great opportunity to show what is their company made of. But it just don’t right if they will get rid of their complaints. They must also provide definite answer for each one and gain back the customer. That’s how powerful social media is, I believe.

Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Hey Andreas,
Thank you so much for you comment. I really appreciate what you are saying. It is all abut communication. After all , all customers want is just someone to tell that something is wrong. The company is not really right by deleting their comments.

It is to communicate with their customers, get feed backs and interact with them is the line that is so important.
Hope to see you again on my blog.
Thanks and best regards,

Bryce Christiansen October 11, 2011 at 12:19 am

I completely agree with you. I find it ironic that people keep trying to make social networking more private and hidden. It goes against it’s nature.

I feel that if you commit to social media you are taking on the transparency good or bad that comes with it. Like you mentioned in the example of leaving a comment about a companies support and them deleting it. That’s just bad social media behavior.

I have friends who delete other people’s comments on their streams because, “it doesn’t match their opinion.” It makes me want to cringe.

We are here to be social, share what we like and don’t like. The higher road is to take the criticism and improve or make it right. Not to sweep it under the rug like it never happened.

Excellent points.


Ashvini Kumar Saxena October 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm

Hi Bryce,

Really sorry for the late reply.
Thank you so much for your comments.
I really do not understand much of social media except that it is a form of communication ( both sides expressing their opinion) . But here it seems that they only want to be heard . Its not that everyone is talking bad about them. People are still buying from them and that is a good proof of their concept. But if they don’ t listen , they are sure going to have a lot of unhappy customers.
I really appreciate your taking time to comment and tweet the post.
Thanks and have a great day, Bryce

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