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.