Digital Complaints and How Brands Can Deal With Them

I recently came across the following video, which is a satirical take on some of the complaint-style youtube videos which have gone by in the past. The video in question was produced by some of the people over at Radian6, a company that produce an eponymous social media and engagement listening tool. Before I show you the Radian6 version, maybe you should take a look at the truly viral United Airlines complaint video:

At the time of writing, the video has had just over 9.22 million views… For the full story behind the video, check the report on how this came about.

The Radian6 guys have done a pretty funny tongue-in-cheek response to this kind of video – clearly more affiliated with the original United Breaks Guitars piece than any others that have been and gone. video in the jump:

It’s a clever take on the genre which while its not actual laugh out lout material, still made me chuckle inside. A hearty private chuckle! Radian6, of course, provide software which would technically allow a brand to respond in this way should anything deflamatory crop up in the social space.

Whether or not intensive monitoring of these social channels is a good idea remains to be seen. Sometime ago @mattrhodes wrote a blog post @ FreshNetworks on the dangers of brands over responding on Twitter, citing a podcast example from Lucy Kellaway (link on the freshnetworks blog ^) as an example of when it’s best to keep schtum when people criticise your brand. I think this is an important consideration…

As a brand, managing your online reputation is important, but you should never go over the top. A guy with 3 followers can flame your brand into submission, but is unlikely to create any ripples (this is of course aside from the fact that they had something to flame you for in the first place). Responding to such a complaint gives the message more leverage than if you just leave it be.

Of course, every complaint is an opportunity to improve your brand/service, and each should be given equal precedent at an internal level, but before you start addressing each and every complaint in the social space, you should probably make sure that its worth your time and money to do so.

I’m not advocating tolerance with¬†mediocrity¬†– if there are things you should be doing better then you should endeavour to do so, but your energy may well be better served in addressing these issues than it would be monitoring the social web with a fine toothed comb.

**update** An excellent post on what Social CRM is can be found here – great quote at the end:

Simply responding to as many comments or tweets as possible is senseless and not scalable”

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