The really great thing about social media is this: it’s faster and easier than ever to ignore, alienate and piss off a customer!
Case in point. As quick background, I joined Weight Watchers 9 days ago (not that I’m counting). It’s not a brand I ever thought I would associate with, but, well, that Jennifer Hudson TV commercial sucked me in, to tell you the truth. I know how to lose weight (lots of experience), but counting calories has gotten tedious so I thought maybe there’s something to this whole “points” thing.
HOW TO ALIENATE A CUSTOMER IN THREE EASY STEPS:
Step One: Present a compelling promise with fine print that basically negates it.
“JOIN FOR FREE!” Mouse type: we’re waiving a joining fee but it’s still going to cost you $60 to get started. If there actually is a one-week free trial, bury it in your site architecture so your customer doesn’t see it.
Step Two: Follow worst practices of Twitter use.
Follow less than 1% of your followers. Never reply to them when they tweet about you or directly ask you questions. Post on your profile, “Have questions? E-mail our customer service for the quickest response!”
Completely ignore the fact that one-fourth of respondents who complain via Facebook or Twitter expect a reply within 60 minutes — and 6% expect a response within 10 minutes, according to the study by Lightspeed Research and the Internet Advertising Bureau UK.
After all, why answer questions responsively on Twitter, when you can…
Step Three: Apologize on your email contact form for the fact that it might take you up to two days to respond, then wait six days. When you do respond, provide a robotic non-answer to the question.
Never mind that if consumers notify a company of a problem using its Web site, 50% are happy to wait up to a day for a reply and 27% are content to wait for up to three days, according to the same study referenced above.
(Bonus Step: If you really want to get your customers going, throw in a dysfunctional web site with recipe search that if your user’s cursor goes outside the margins, they have to start over. And a dysfunctional mobile app that doesn’t allow them to favorite recipes.)
Isn’t the point of social media to communicate AT your customers? You wouldn’t want to communicate with them, maybe nudge them towards enthusiasm or advocacy. That would be too much work.