How one customer used social media to vent his frustration after receiving poor service

Here’s how one disgruntled (and creative) customer decided to get back at United Airlines for giving him the run-around after damaging his luggage and refusing to resolve the issue to his satisfaction.  Check out his YouTube video here. (If you don’t have 4 minutes, watch it later when you need a good laugh.)

The customer in this case is Canadian musician Dave Carroll who had his favourite Taylor guitar broken by United Airlines while on a flight from Nova Scotia to Nebraska. This hilarious video about the incident and United’s indifference has been viewed more than 8.6 million times and reported widely around the world.

I believe part of the reason this video was so popular is that United had very little in its customer “trust bank”.  People in the social media sphere will come to your defense if they have an affinity and trust in your brand.

In contrast, when a well-known American Hollywood director with more than one million followers on Twitter was refused a seat on a Southwest Airlines flight, there were many people in the social media arena who came to Southwest’s defense after he posted his complaint. In my view, it’s because Southwest has built a large bank of customer trust.

This is another good reason that your company should consider using social media as a vehicle to communicate with your target market.  When something negative is said about you, you will be setup to react quickly. When customers give you kudos, you will be able to engage with them then too.  Don’t wait til you’re thirsty to dig that social media well!  If you had to honestly assess your company’s trust bank today, how would you say its doing?

maria loscerbo Maria Loscerbo

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Filed under Digital PR, Social Media

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