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Compliment or Complaint

Compliment or Complaint - Marketing Doris

I like complimenting what I consider to be #goodmarketing on social media and will include in the tweet or post relevant username handles or promotional hashtags and a link to the advert or campaign.

At this time of year, I’m in my element as there is an abundance of new marketing campaigns to devour and just the other day, I came across the Argos festive offering which features a Christmas Fool causing allsorts of problems. I liked it, it kept me captivated throughout and got across the message that that they were a solution for getting Christmas ready.

Having enjoyed their advert, I posted a message saying as much. Later I received a reply from Argos asking me ‘what was the issue?’. It soon became apparent that they had jumped to the wrong conclusion when they saw my post and rather than taking it as a compliment, they thought it was the opposite.

.. and suddenly all the good had come undone. I was impressed they had contacted me to check if there was a problem, but how sad they should have assumed it was criticism… but maybe it was because they didn’t know about the campaign?

Perhaps they hadn’t been briefed in-house about the latest promotional advert. Using social media channels as part of your customer service offering and not just as a marketing too, can be hugely beneficially, particularly for retail or business to consumer organisations.

Why bother? Well, as consumers we will have all suffered the agony of calling a company’s customer service telephone number at some point and trawling through a maze of numbered options, only to find that we have been connected to the wrong department, that we are ‘number 7’ in the queue or worse at a dead-end and have the call about to go into dead-end and the call terminated. All can be extremely frustrating, particularly if the reason you were contacting them was something that you felt could be handled quickly .. but only if you could speak to someone!

Twitter has proven to be a valuable tool for customer service teams. They can respond quickly to anyone mentioning their business / brands / products e.g.

  • Thank people for being complimentary (or not in my case!), and potentially retweet the comment to share with your followers.
  • Answer any questions people may have. This has proven to work well for organisations providing a service i.e. Train operators who can advise on real-time changes that may be affecting a person’s journey
  • Help resolve a complaint or point the person in the right direction of how this can be handled
  • Reflect the tone of the brand or audience in their messages. There are some excellent examples of humour or age appropriate language being used 

For businesses operating a customer service via social media, it is recommended that they:

  • Are consistent with the coverage i.e. available throughout standard business office times and state that in the profile bio. Often if a business has teams / individuals working on shifts they will announce they are signing in or out. This makes it more personal and approachable
  • Follow the brand guidelines of the business
  • .. and of course, work in conjunction with other departments within the business i.e. marketing so that they are aware of latest promotions and external communications

For help with all things marketing – internal and external – give Helen a call at Marketing Doris helen@marketingdoris.co.uk

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