Quelling Complaints Latest Social Media Tool

Customer service feedbackWith the latest reports of crisis from TGI Friday’s, it is no wonder that forms of social media have ousted emailing as the main form of communication for customer service.

The newest customer service crisis belongs to TGI Friday’s. According to PR Daily, Nicole Queen was visiting TGI Friday’s in Garland, Texas, where she explicitly told her server that she couldn’t consume beef due to her religious restrictions.

However, after overt uneasiness from her server, she realized that when she was drinking her tea, there were bits of bacon in it. When she confronted the kitchen staff, they said servers don’t have access to food and threw her cup away.

She contacted the media to tell her story, which in turn caused TGI Friday’s to release a statement via Facebook. This triggers an interesting question — why are brands choosing to interact through social media (instead of email) for crisis communications? Possibly because, like the article claims, answering an email complaint can take a company up to right hours. With social media, you can, in some cases, get instant gratification.

This concept of complaining via Twitter is not new. We’ve seen instances from Hobby Lobby┬áregarding claims of anti-Semitism, Forever 21 with its Compton T-Shirts and Apple vs Martha Stewart.

Have you ever used social media to complain or communicate with a specific brand? If so, did they respond?

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4 Responses to Quelling Complaints Latest Social Media Tool

  1. Leila O'Hara says:

    Since Twitter is a method for instantaneous communication, I think it makes sense that companies would choose to address complaints this way. Emails are more useful for maintaining internal communication between the functional stakeholders (employees) of an organization. In contrast, Twitter can be accessed by any of a company’s key stakeholders, and the message is sent out in a quick, digestible form. Email used to be the only form of online communication, but I think Twitter has established itself as a reliable, accessible tool for corporations.

  2. Fernando Aguilar says:

    Interesting to see how TGI went thru this situation.

  3. Tiffany Hopkins says:

    I think that social media is a great way for consumers to interact with organizations and vice versa. This includes complaints and responses to them. It seems so much more convenient to post something via Facebook or Twitter, than to find an email address and send it. Also, I check my social media sites more times throughout the day than I check my email. I’ve used Twitter to complain about a problem I had with ASU, and whoever runs the ASU Twitter page responded within minutes with a nice answer to my question. After that, I was no longer upset and I was more understanding. Therefore, I think communicating and/or apologizing via social media is great for a brand or organization.

  4. Tessa Kay says:

    For me I have not reached out to any brand via social media but I do think that social media during crisis can be an asset for an organization. It allows the company to reach out instantly and send a message. I think that if I were to reach out via social media they may or may not respond. I think it would depend on the brand and the how active the social media department is.

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