“Unhappy Customer” video

  • Watch the “Unhappy Customer” video found in the LEARN section this week.  What is the most important element of this case study specific to customer relationship management?  Was the customer’s reaction justified in this example? Provide a rationale for your answer.
  • Has either a positive or negative customer service experience impacted your purchasing behavior?  Provide a rationale for your answer.
  • Search the Internet for an article that supports your position on customer relationship management and post the link in your discussion, using APA or SWS formatting, for everyone to read.

Here is copy of the transcript for the video. It is based on customer engagement.


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Unhappy customers

Selecting transcript lines in this section will navigate to timestamp in the video– Happy customers make great brand evangelists. But have you ever thought of the unhappy ones, as an influencer marketing opportunity? In this video, we will dive into their importance and the steps you may take to turn your customer service challenges into a marketing opportunities. In 2009, a singer-songwriter, Dave Carroll, was flying with United Airlines from Canada to Nebraska via Chicago. Upon landing in the layover city, he heard a passenger behind him scream. “My God, they are throwing guitars out there.” Sure enough, his $3500 Taylor guitar was one of them. Upon arrival to his destination, he discovered that the guitar’s neck was broken off. Nine months of his back and forth with United, weren’t crowned with success. So the songwriter wrote a song, United Breaks Guitars. He also produced a brilliant music video to accompany it and uploaded it to YouTube. Within four days of the upload, Dave’s song was viewed by more than 1.5 million people. It went viral and the viewer count tripled in the next three months. United’s efforts to make things right, came too late to stop the snowball effect. Now, many years later, the video’s viewership has crossed the 16 million viewers threshold. But there was something more than the number of views. According to the Times of the UK, within four days of the song going online, the gathering thunderclouds of bad PR caused United Airlines stock price to suffer a mid-flight stall and then plunge by 10%, costing shareholders $180 million. Whether these numbers are right or not is irrelevant. In 2009, Time Magazine named Dave’s video one of the top viral videos of the year. CNBC featured him and his experience on their 2012 documentary, Customer Disservice. Later, Dave also published a book on the power of one’s voice in the age of social media and he is now a highly demanded keynote speaker on customer service. Had United handled things differently, things could have been turned to their benefit. There was one company that turned Dave’s sad situation into a positive. Taylor Guitars, the company who made Dave’s beloved guitar, broken by the airline, gave him a new one. Not only that, they went further. They also created a video, one that expressed their concern, reminded of their guitar repair services and offering guidelines on how to travel with guitars. By now, that video was watched by nearly one million people, been liked close to 2000 times. Scott Stratten of Unmarketing also once had an unpleasant experience with an airline. In contrast to Dave and his guitar, Delta Airlines reacted to Scott’s tweet within three minutes. They respectfully apologized, admitting their fault and won him back. He is a professional keynote speaker too, but instead of scolding the brand, he applauds them in his speeches by remembering how disarming was their timely and courteous reaction. According to a research by VentureBeat Insight, in the US alone, present day connected consumers complain about brands 879 million times a year. And it all happens on social media. The staggering part though, is not the number of complaints, but the fact that 33% of the time, brands do not respond to these complaints, leaving close to 290 million complaints unanswered. Obviously, not every brand gets it. Those that do, reap the benefits. Here are some practical steps you can take to turn a complaint into an opportunity. Monitor mentions of your brand across the web by employing tools that allow you to keep your finger on the pulse of various platforms. Make sure you’re monitoring misspellings of your brand as well. Angry people do mistype words. As soon as a complaint is discovered, turn to social media marketing expert, Chris Brogan’s AAA approach. Acknowledge, apologize, act. Be swift at it. Timing is of essence here. When stressed about a situation to the point of announcing it to the world, your consumer needs to hear from you fast. JetBlue, for example, averages a remarkable 10 minute response time and they’re being mentioned over 2500 times a day on Twitter alone. Based on how the situation develops, see if there is an influencer marketing opportunity to develop from your interaction with the customer. Also, monitor complaints about other brands that mention your brand. Like Taylor Guitar’s case, which we have discussed. These situations may yield additional opportunities. To summarize, you want to put a system in place, whereby your customer support will efficiently handle complaints, discerning also, potential marketing opportunities and passing those along to whoever handles influencer marketing within your organization. As Jay Baer of Convince and Convert puts it, “Unhappy customers represent “an enormous opportunity for businesses. “You just gotta learn how to “marry your customer service with marketing, “hugging your complainants, “because they are not your problem, “ignoring them may become one for you.”

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