Sardines and Customer Service

New Year’s Eve holds an uncomfortable memory for me.  Four years ago, I spent most of the day in A and E in agony waiting to have what everyone thought was a fish bone removed from my lower throat. We’d had Cornish Sardines for lunch which we bought from a well-known upmarket supermarket.  But the fish bone turned out to be a 5 cm metal hook.  I was OK.  Signed off work for two weeks and had antibiotics as a precaution.  Very lucky. 

I thought I’d let the retailer know.

Weeks of phone calls and emails on my part and empty promises from them still no action. Finally, I took to social media tweeting a photo of the metal hook that had been pulled out of my throat.  Immediately, they got in touch and offered compensation.  Not much, but I wanted closure and it was enough to buy a king size bed and mattress for our teenager – we call it the sardine bed.

Social media was traditionally been a place for brands to connect with their customers share photos, messages and videos.  But then customers started reaching back to the brands. This may be because of a lack of response as I encountered, or more probably because it is a more direct way to reach the brands. And easy.

Brands have started recognising social media networks as platforms for delivering customer service – there are enormous risks and repercussions of not handling their customers properly.

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