It happens to us all doesn’t it – we get let down by a supplier and we get so frustrated we are tempted to moan on social media. It’s not something I like to do myself, but on occasion it can feel like the only way to grab a company’s attention.
It’s a old school PR truth which is as critical as ever in a world of fragmented, real-time media that reputation begins with behaviour. If an organisation does not act in a manner that is consistent with the promises made in its marketing, or simply acts in any way that may illicit criticism, then sooner or later that criticism is going to get exposed in the media (social or traditional). That’s clearly a reputational challenge as well as a customer service one and undoubtedly a negative impact on whoever is responsible for PR.
Of course, most companies will screw up now and then (there is a certain inevitability in fast-moving businesses that embrace change), and in these cases it’s not the error itself but the way it is dealt with that makes the difference. Quick apology and resolution can resolve most issues and even turn many a complainer into an advocate. However, my suspicion is there are many companies out there who want a good reputation but do not want to make the behavioural changes in order to make it really happen.
Would you do the PR for an organisation with an attitude like that?