Justin Flitter

Marketer | TEDxAuckland Producer | Juggler

Justin Flitter | CMO | TEDxAuckland Producer | Juggler. Follow on Twitter @JustinFlitter

Brands need to pay more attention to social conversations #custserv

This week a man purchased a promoted Tweet to amplify the customer service failing from British Airways. Read the full story here 

Frustrated with poor customer service over his fathers lost luggage businessman Hasan Syed took to Twitter to complain earning international attention.
 

This will probably freak out big brands whether or not they have proactive social media strategies. I'd expect many marketing and comms teams around the globe have mentioned this case story during meetings over the last few days. 

But the lesson needs to be learnt. If you don't have systems and people managing customer interactions online effectively you open the door to these events happening time and time again.

Six hours after the tweet went live, and was picked up by news website Mashable, it had been read by thousands of Twitter users, retweeted and commented on.

But it took another four hours for British Airways to pick up on it: "Sorry for the delay in responding, our twitter feed is open 09:00-17:00 GMT. Please DM [direct message] your baggage ref and we'll look into this."

4 hours is pretty slack in my book. Not only do brands the size of BA need to provide 24/7 social customer service it MUST be integrated throughout their customer service teams, globally. 

I do appreciate that lost baggage can take time to resolve but in the first instance BA should have acknowledged his complaint publicly and assigning a representative to manage the process through to resolution.

With instant channels available to customers with complaints brands like BA need to take social customer service much more seriously.