- Category: Business
- Published on Saturday, February 26 2011 04:44
- Written by Rod Hughes
- Hits: 741
Customer service has always been the key to keeping clients but, as companies grew to globally elephantine size, it became easy for business executives to forget that--until such Internet services as Facebook. The business newspaper El Financiero article recently reminded us of this.
Writer Cesar Brenes reminds us of the Dave Carrol song, "United Breaks Guitars," a little ditty that was hardly what an advertising agency for United Airlines would have used in a TV commercial.
Carrol wrote the song in 2009 after his $3,500 guitar was ruined, allegedly by United baggage handlers. The company stonewalled his claim for replacement. At one time, the protest might have been heard only by a few thousand concert goers but YouTube spread it to 2.3 million visitors in only 12 days!
Brenes interviewed Simon Bond, chief of innovation at Proximity, the digital division at Madison Avenue's prestigious ad agency BBDO. For Bond, United's blow of negative publicity is what happens to a company with no "solid digital strategy."
The paper noted another incident of a lack of company response to criticism, this one in Costa Rica. According to Brenes the bar La Buca in San Pedro, east of central San Jose, found a complaint on its Facebook comments, alleging discrimination.
In reaction, the bar eliminated its comments section from its Facebook site--a tactic that backfired by bringing attention from the press. Wrong move, says Bond. The bar should have done the reverse of stonewalling because the customer satisfaction should be the center of digital reaction.
Bond points out that the whole promotion landscape is changing with such interactive and personalized services as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even search engines such as Google edging into the scene alongside the massive media campaigns, the former with a more one on one approach to promotion.
He pointed out that Proctor & Gamble now devotes 10% of its promotional budget to the Internet. Bond also recommends that emerging markets in Costa Rica dedicate 15% of budgets to advertising. He considers digital promotion a boon to small and medium sized companies that abound in this country because, relative to some conventional media, it is cheaper.
But he underscores his original point by noting that the closer even the biggest companies can get to the consumer, the better. He notes that advertising readers listen to only 85% of what the company says about its product or service but heeds 95% what a customer says about it.