What would you do if your company was caught giving horrific customer service? Now, what would you do if that horrific display of customer was posted to YouTube and garnered over 8 million views in less than 3 months?
That my friends, is a textbook example of a PR wildfire. (view similar post: Social Media: The New PR Fire Extinguisher)
The fore-mentioned situation above is a true story of a person and their experience with FedEX. Even though the customer was home with the front door wide open, a package was not exactly handled with care by a FedEX employee. Luckily for the customer, and unluckily for FedEX, the incident was caught entirely on camera.
After opening his package and finding his computer monitor was broken, he reviewed the tape and posted it to YouTube.
Not only has it been viewed 8.5 million times, it was also featured on various news stations.
Now this is a story with a happy ending, because FedEX did the right thing and tackled the situation head-on.
Days after the video was posted, they addressed the issue, then created a video of their own and posted it to their official FedEX blog (side note, it’s my opinion that every company should have a blog, and this is one great example of why).
In the video, I believe FedEX did a fantastic job, they: 1) took ownership of the problem and apologized for it, 2) told how they addressed the employee and rectified the issue, helping the disgruntled customer feel completely satisfied, and 3) spoke briefly on what has and will be done to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.
While that may seem to be the end of the story, I want to point out some things that I learned from Mack Collier in his blog that I think are “golden nuggets” that go unmentioned.
So far, Fed-Ex’s apology post has 181 comments, almost 120 comments more than the 2nd most commented-on post.
Here’s the interesting fact about the comments (thanks to Mack for reading every single comment and gathering these statistics 🙂 )
— 57% of the comments were positive.
— 25% of the comments were neutral.
— 18% of the comments were negative.
If that number shocks you, it is a great example of what good can come of social media. It’s said that many companies avoid social media because of the possible negative commentary that might happen. To those companies, here’s your wake up call:
People are going to talk about you (good or bad) whether you are at the (social media) party or not.
The issue lies, therein, whether or not you are there to tackle the negative feedback and fix the story and/or set it straight when it arises. If you are in the conversation, you have the ability to change it; if you ignore it, that tiny flame can grow into an uncontrollable wildfire and a become PR nightmare/headache.
Kudos to FedEX for using social media to combat this unfortunate event, I think you handled it beautifully.
And that my friends, is fighting fire with fire.