Social Media Customer Service—An Anti-Example

I try to use this blog for funny things. Well, today I’m using it to rant…about something I find funny. Some of you won’t understand what any of this means (Mom, Grandma and Grandpa: I won’t be offended if you stop reading here), but people in marketing and advertising will.

Note: I used the Twitter “Embed Tweet” feature, so it duplicated tweets if they were responses. Ignore that. I prefer embedding rather than using screenshots.

Here it goes.

One of my Twitter acquaintances (don’t know her IRL) tweeted this:

Here’s how the company responded:

That made me go, “Say WHAAAAT!?” So I asked @Nichole_Kelly if that was real. I got this response from the company:

I don’t know what that means. And then @Nichole_Kelly Tweeted this:

Sir Mike at Solve360 then responded:

What? I seriously don’t know what that means. I think Mike is picking random mumbo jumbo and posting it. I guess that’s a social media strategy.

So I asked @Nichole_Kelly if she used @Solve360, and she said:

In other words, if @Solve360 would have handled the customer service situation differently, they could have had another customer. Instead, they lost her as a potential customer, and I’ll for sure never use them.

Mike of course responded with an incoherent babble…one that includes “lol”:

This is one of far too many examples of social media harming an organization because they use it wrong. Like I said, situations like this make me sad, but also make me realize how there will always be a need for my expertise as a social media strategist.

And if Solve360 and Norada are actually good at social media, they’ll find this post…and rectify it. Or maybe I’ll get a nonsense response from Mike. Who knows. But what I do know is that I don’t trust this FAQ on their website:

Solve360 Fail

P.S. I took screenshots of @Solve360’s tweets incase they remove them later. What happens on the Internet can never be erased.

UPDATED

A new response!

I’ll continue to keep you posted as he keeps digging a deeper hole.

UPDATED X2

After the long conversation on Facebook (read it here), I started to wonder if other people at the company knew what this guy was posting on Twitter. So I emailed the company. They email back…in support of the Twitter comments! Here are some excerpts from the response, as well as my commentary.

He said the conversation,was about self proclaimed social media expert(s) grandstanding.” I’ve never once claimed to be a social media expert. I’m a social media strategist. I don’t claim expertise. I admittedly learn every single day—usually from other people.

Maybe the word ‘fraud’ was a bit harsh, but with 140 characters you need to be quick to the point and you mentioned you were missing it.” In other words, they’re not sorry, and also don’t know how to craft concise tweet that gets their point across.

Your actions are not without consequence.” What?

I’d suggest that you stepped into the conversation in a big way.” I never actually addressed the company. I retweeted Nichole’s greasy wheel tweet that happened to mention the company. I didn’t insult them. I simply said, “Is this real?”

That behind us, we’d much rather be helping than ‘looking at our shoes’. First of all, punctuation goes inside the quotation marks. Secondly, again, what!? Looking at their shoes? Is that where the insults were coming from? Their shoes?

We’re willing to write this off a learning experience for both of us, offer an apology, return to our regular program of being nice, sticking our neck out, and trying to help people who touch us move mountains.  Touché? So generous of them to “write it off as a learning experience.” I know I learned what bad social media customer service looks like. It appears the company learned…umm…nothing. A few questions popped into my mind after this comment: 1) Who’s touching them? That’s creepy. B) I thought they were a CRM…what’s that have to do with mountains?

I want to respond to the email with all my heart. But I won’t, because I seriously don’t want to deal with them anymore. This was an interesting experience and I actually did learn a lot, but it needs to stop.

Next week, Nichole Kelly will be posting a blog post on a very popular blog. It’ll have more background and more of her experience (rather than that of a bystander). I’ll post a link to it in yet another update.

UPDATED X3

Jason Falls wrote about the debacle on Social Media Explorer, “Customer Service Isn’t An Act. It’s a Trait.

UPDATED X4

It appears @Solve360 is abandoning Twitter. Their new bio is, “Twitter’s ‘cool kids’ and spammers ruined a good thing. Catch us on LinkedIn where the grown-ups get work done.”

Not sure if I fall under the “Cool Kids” or “Spammers” category. I’m pretending the cool kids one unless I hear otherwise.

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11 thoughts on “Social Media Customer Service—An Anti-Example

  1. I found you through a search for something like, “Customer Service Gone Wrong.” Thanks for sharing the story. I’ve linked to this through my blog as well. I know you posted some time ago, but it’s still totally relevant! Well done. :)

    • I saw that you shared it. Thanks for passing it along to your readers! I gave you a link through a ping-back. It’ll be relevant for a long time, I’m glad it’s something you could use.

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