Can Twitter and Facebook make the world a better place? Here’s a consumer action that was prompted, got bumpy and then was repaired with social media. The project: Find the best value and most durable washer and dryer combination to purchase.
There were three steps in the process:
- Research/word-of-mouth: Do your due diligence via word-of-mouth and Google search. After discovering that the brand name does not show up in the Google pulldown search for brand scam or brand fail, we use IceRocket and Social Mention to look for product and vendor mentions. Then we go directly to our tribes. I used Facebook to ask 200 friends and my wife’s 170 friends. We asked: What’s the best value and most durable washer and dryer combination and who is the best vendor for price, service and delivery? These questions produced a 30 comment thread and a 25 comment thread. We selected winners – Sears and LG.
- Engage customer service: Delivery was delayed and the Sears customer call center is unable to find the delivery order. The situation is stalled. However, a negative Tweet that specifically mentions the vendor – Sears – produces a tweet from Sears Cares customer service within three hours. The Sears representative suggests taking the conversation offline (or at least off Twitter) and provides their email address. After an exchange of emails, the delivery hiccup is resolved, a detailed explanation is offered, and the customer is completely recovered.
- Leave breadcrumbs: We then shared our experience to provide a roadmap for others (WordPress, Facebook and Twitter). The initial negative tweet is connected by keywords, hashtags and a Twitter handle to identify a pattern. As a business, you can’t hide a negative, but you have the ability to improve the result.
Do you know of any other good ways to use social media to minimize your risk when buying a durable good and picking a vendor?