Social media is huge. And getting bigger and bigger by the day.
In Malaysia, we are seeing an increasing number of businesses jumping on the social media bandwagon. Heck, even the neighbourhood kopitiam where I usually tapao dinner from has a Facebook page. The key here is to engage your customers, getting them to actively participate and interact with you. However, most of the time the PR people manning these social media platforms (Facebook & Twitter) are clueless at best especially when it comes to handling customer dissatisfaction.
The most common response we see nowadays are merely copy and paste answers when it comes to addressing complaints. These are merely aiming at pacifying customers, not really providing a solution to their complaints.
“We are looking into this.”
“We are sorry about the inconveniences caused.”
“We hope to serve you better next time.”
We all know that in this age and time, people are no longer satisfied with these perfunctory replies. We want answers and we want them now. It’s not always possible for an immediate solution though. Therefore the next best thing to do would be to offer some sort of compensation, be it a small discount or a token gesture to show that you value your customers and their feedback and are actively doing something to prove that they matter to you. That’s what it’s mainly about anyway. People want to be heard and feel like they are appreciated. And judging by the fact that these are the people who are essentially giving you money to sustain your business, I’d say it’s not too much of a demand.
Unfortunately, not all businesses get that. Thus, customer service and customer experience is a sorely neglected part, judged to be of no particular importance simply because there isn’t an immediate monetary gain from it. Businesses are more concerned with making sales and earning money, completely neglecting a very crucial factor: customer engagement & retention.
Every now and then, we get a gem like the below.
Really? Magic? Hiring the customer to fix the lift instead?
Now, everyone who knows me will know that I am all for sarcasm. But in this case, that was neither a right place nor a right time. You are representing a huge business. A newly opened business at that. One that would need positive feedback from people to gain foothold in an industry that is already largely saturated in the Malaysian market. I mean, you have got to give people a reason to visit you when hugely established malls such as 1 Utama, The Curve or Tropicana City Mall is just a stone throw away. Yes, there are bound to be hiccups when it comes to running a newly opened mall. However, when the customers voice their concern and dissatisfaction over the problems they face, you DO NOT reply sarcastically, especially since the fault is on your end. The lifts have malfunctioned multiple times, and judging from customers’ feedback, the problem was never actually rectified and the customer service person handling the Facebook account has been doling out perfunctory replies that are of no help at all. Of course people are not going to be happy if you are constantly giving out the same old copy & paste replies. It just goes to show how much you value your customers if you are not even bothered to address their concerns properly. And the cherry on top has got to be the completely sarcastic and inappropriate response when the customer points out that they are of no help at all (which is true).
This is a major PR fail. It just goes to show that you shouldn’t let any Tom, Dick or Harry be the voice of your business. Unless you liked being royally fucked and ridiculed all over the internet, that is. If I were you, Paradigm Mall, I’d fire that failure’s ass and go into damage control mode ASAP. Oh, and I suggest you read this and hopefully learn from their examples: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/120126.
Oh, apparently the Centre Manager & the GM of the mall replied to this fiasco.
So, damage control mode has apparently commenced. Let’s just hope the failure don’t ever get access to the Facebook admin page ever again. Such a shame that a brand new mall’s reputation is tainted just by one immature customer service personnel who can’t handle criticism.
Reputation is an awfully hard thing to build and an awfully easy thing to lose. I don’t know about you, but Paradigm Mall will forever be regarded as a place with shitty customer experience for me.