Smart Gray Matter

Digital Marketing Solutions

Customer Service is spelled C O M M U N I C A T E.

Dreamily gazing out the picture window that stands adjacent to my desk I find myself baffled that I’m about to write the post I am.  Is it any great mystery that businesses with stellar customer service practices are generally the businesses that end up succeeding in the long run?  Quite frankly I’m astonished at the number of large corporations that still haven’t adopted social media channels with which to communicate with their customers/clients.

Think back to your last negative encounter with a business/product.  I’ll be willing to be that 7 out 10 cases were related to a gross lapse in communication.  Isn’t that where most problems originate?  Perhaps something even went awry with internal communication?  That NEVER happens right?!!  It seems to me, if I were responsible for ensuring my business delivered great customer service practices I would be listening on every available avenue the customer has at their disposal to communicate with me.  Believe me, I understand that trying to master content syndication can be tough with all the social media sites out there(not to mention the new ones popping up every day), yet how can you completely ignore social media altogether?

For instance, I applied for a secured card through PNC bank two weeks ago and endured an unbelievable amount of frustration trying to get it.  For those of you unfamiliar with a ‘secured card;’ here is how it works.  You give the bank a large sum of cash for the available balance you want on the card, and they hand you plastic in return.  In short, I was asked to come back in to the branch no less than 3 times to submit information.  First, the individual writing up the application used an archaic application that references a card that doesn’t even exist anymore!  Second, they needed another copy of my ID and well… get the picture.  After multiple conversations with the incompetent local branch I started tweeting for help.  Low and behold!  PNC bank doesn’t have a Twitter account!!!  That’s right, my pleas for help were never heard and thus ignored…..ON ONE OF THE LARGEST SOCIAL MEDIA NETWORKS IN EXISTENCE NO LESS!  Which is rather surprising for a company that championed their embrace of “new technology.” with PNC’s ‘Virtual Wallet.”

Now, I know I’m not the only one who has reached out to them for help on Twitter.  What happened to those other customers?  Luckily I was finally able to get the secured card I set out to obtain through other methods, still, what happened to those other poor unfortunate souls who also asked for help on various social media streams?  Is it possible that some of them could have been potential new customers?  Do you think PNC perhaps created negative experiences/impressions of their corporation due to their lack of availability to their customer base?  The answer is a resounding YES.  When will the light bulb finally illuminate?  When will we see businesses awaken from their slumber and start to use the potential afforded by the world of social media?  I mean, seriously.  Check out what PNC has to say about themselves here. * *

A “160 year history” and I promise that wasn’t accomplished by ignoring people.  It seems laughable, but let’s look at a seemingly ridiculous comparison.  What if PNC simply stopped answering the phone?  What if you attempted to get in contact with your bank and all you heard was a busy signal.  I’m guessing you would be taking your business elsewhere before too long….

Lastly, I know that most of you reading this are already hip to SMO and the prospects it provides, but consider it from the other side of the coin for a minute.  How many of you teach social media classes?  How many of you handle your client’s social media needs on a daily basis without them ever being involved?  The potential is out there!  Start aggressively marketing yourself to large businesses like PNC.  Make them see why they need to be listening to their current clients and future clients on major applications like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.  Help them understand that they must evolve or assume their position in the bottom of the food chain.


One comment on “Customer Service is spelled C O M M U N I C A T E.

  1. Smart Gray Matter
    February 9, 2012

    Thanks for the attention Lesley!

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