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Making best use of social media > Making best use of social media - Pg. 29

Encouraging Customers to Voice Complaints 29 complaint, the customer wrote a song about his frustrating experience and also created a music video that he posted on YouTube. The video amassed 5 million viewings within one month and was a public relations disaster for United, which finally offered compensation for the broken guitar. Domino's Pizza on the other hand effectively used social media to counter complaints it had received from customers about the quality of its pizzas. It created a microsite and posted videos on YouTube showing the improve- ments that its chefs had made to its recipes as a result of customer feedback. Domino's then invited feedback from its customers on the new pizza. Coffee chain Starbucks actively seeks customers' opinions, compliments and criticisms on its website. It has set up a section that is called My Starbucks Idea that has netted tens of thousands of ideas, some of which were imple- mented, such as free birthday drinks. Social media are altering customers' expectations about service as well as their buying patterns. Take a few moments to put your company name in a search engine. What you will find is all the forums and blogs that relate to your company, and what customers are saying about you. It is also worth- while putting the word `sucks' after your company name in a search engine and see what appears. Visit the numerous complaint websites that have sprung up that allow customers to post their dissatisfaction and compare notes with other people. You will start to appreciate how online reports can go viral and reach millions of people in a short space of time. I predict a time when calling a company's contact centre will no longer be the fastest way to have a complaint resolved. Tweeting your complaint or putting it on Facebook may obtain a quicker response. One Comcast cable customer for example tweeted his dissatisfaction when he turned on the TV to watch an important match and instead found an old sitcom on their channel. Comcast's head of digital care saw the tweet and immediately tweeted back to the customer and other tweeters that the problem was caused by a power failure at the match that meant that the company had to show the sitcom instead. In 2005 a blogger set up a posting about computer company Dell under the title `Dell Hell'. This created a massive amount of bad publicity for the firm. Since then, Dell has placed great emphasis on having conversations with customers via social media. It has a team of people trawling the web