Complain Online Lately?

It is pretty much a known fact that I am brand loyal.  Whether it is VerizonPoland SpringsStaplesJetBluePantene Pro-v,FedEx (I’m literally looking around my room and naming off brands), I stick to what I like and feel comfortable with.  No, this isn’t a blog post about brand loyalty again, but it is a post about what goes happens with some of the other brands that I haven’t had the greatest experiences with.

It is known that negative feedback about a company has a larger impact than positive feedback.  People want to know the bad things that are happening in the world.  The good news is not always as interesting, and the public tends to ignore it.

Within the last year, I have come into a habit of complaining about brands over the Internet when I have a bad experience.  My first instinct is to immediately pull out my phone or computer and tweet about the bad experience, update my Facebook status or even write a blog post about it.  When did this sudden change come?  Why do we all of a sudden feel the need to complain publicly instead of dealing with the problem by ourselves and moving on.  I guarantee there are much worse things in life than UPS not delivering a package on time (see, there I go again with my “not so subtle” complaints).

I remember when I was younger, my family was going on a trip to Florida.  When we got to the airport, our flight was canceled and I swore that we should never fly with that airline again.  I started telling everyone (who would listen at least) that we should always fly Continental, and it became an ongoing joke with my family.  (This was the pre-JetBlue days).  But when did it become necessary to tell as many people as possible and in real time when a company drives me crazy?

Honestly, I want to be the one to tell one of those amazing stories that I complained about a company on Twitter, they DMed me and fixed all of my problems.  I would LOVE to write a blog post about how my flight was canceled (even though JetBlue would never do that), but they came to the rescue and fixed it!  That is actually 95% of the reason that I tweeted a lot when I was stuck in Dallas in March (the other 5% was because I was very angry).

Advertising Age just wrote an article called “Are Major Marketers Training John Q. Public to Whine on Web?” This article was exactly what I was planning to write my blog post about.  There are so many stories published about companies virtually “coming to the rescue” to fix a problem.  As more and more companies invest in digital to increase revenue via Twitter and other social media outlets, more and more consumers take advantage of the possibility that their problems may be solved quicker than they think.

So what does this teach us?  To complain about our problems publicly?  To take word of mouth communication to the next level?  To target companies that have departments to handle virtual complaints?  Will the companies really be able to handle the massive amounts of complaints they receive?  Sure we hear some of the solutions to the problems, but how many issues do they really resolve?

And to end my blog post, I need to give a special shout out to Verizon for the the launch of their new campaign Rule the Air.  Check it out on the website!

 

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