Instant, Public, Permanent
Remember the scene in the movie Titanic? The one where Jack is clinging to some flotsam and he says to Rose, "I don't know about you, but I intend to write a strongly worded letter to the White Star Line about all of this."
That's what we used to do back in the good old days when we were unhappy with a product or service. Back in the good old days like 2008 or 2009. Let's take a look at how a customer and a company interacted in 2008.
- You check into the hotel and are not happy.
- You go to the front desk and complain.
- Still upset? You call the national phone number.
- You write a letter or send an email to the corporate office.
- Hears your complaint.
- Verifies your complaint. Contemplates. Coordinates a response.
- Takes action or doesn't.
Time for two-way communication: 30 days or more. Customer tells 10 friends or associates about the bad experience.
Today, things happen a lot faster. Like instant, public and permanent.
In his new book, The Now Revolution, author Jay Baer tells us the story of Shawn who had a less than ideal experience with the Budget Host Motel in Flagstaff, Arizona. His review on TripAdvisor.com is entitled, "I think I can feel death creeping upon me as I write this..."
He continues, "It's SOOOOOO gross. Like something in a horror movie. I'm about to walk out to my car to get my own blankets because this bed is so gross I don't even want to imagine how many people are brought here to be murdered. DO NOT STAY HERE. My wife and I are gonna go get tested for HIV because of this bed. Also the Wi-Fi blows."
Whatever happened to going to the front desk? What happened to writing a letter to the president of the Budget Host chain? How have the rules changed?