I cringe every time I read the words #FAIL , #boo or thus like on Twitter, from users who might just have given a cursory glance to a tool or barely used a service.
This is someone’s brand we are referring to, a brand that’s dear to someone; a service in whose creation someone has put a lot of time, effort and money. How easy it is for us, to sit at a distance and boo, setting someone up for failure, without sometimes giving the other party time/ opportunity to make amends on genuine gaps.
I find that on one side social media gives opportunity consumers to transparently share feedback, on the other, our usage of it is often knee-jerk and may I dare say, even juvenile.
Here, however, is a case of genuine customer agony upon discovering at the airport that your ticket for overseas travel; for which you paid in advance; is void. You end up buying another ticket to make it to your destination. This is what happened to my friend, and power blogger, Kiruba. The culprit – Cleartrip.com
I have often said to marketers attending my talks, workshops that how a marketer responds to negative feedback is the key to success with social media. Going on the defensive is not going to help. A mistake has been made – own up; mistakes do happen, and the moment you acknowledge and convey that to the customer, half the battle is already won.
‘Resolution’ is the only apology acceptable, not a verbal apology that everyone seems to offer. Now go on, top it with something that says ‘We care’ and you can expect forgiveness, even make friends.
Cleartrip shares how they resolved the complaint in this transparent post – transparency has become their hallmark, besides a clear, purposeful interface on the site.
Cleatrip, is rightly disappointed that not as many people shared the positive resolution, as the ones who contributed to the initial negative burst. Well, you have earned some more trust and customers in the process is all I could say to them. I have been buying regularly from Cleartrip and would not just continue but likely recommend them to more people after this episode.
Thanks Manpreet for sharing the case-study post with me.
UPDATE – 16 June, 2009 at 3.42 pm – Kiruba gives his side of the story on this blog update (2nd part of the story still pending)
UPDATE – 26 June, 2009 at 4.25 pm – Kiruba put up part 2 of his story a couple of days ago. Here it is now.