• Tracey Gordon

Why the hashtag and smartphone crashed the perfect customer experience party

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Poor customer service cost companies more than $75 billion in 2017 according to NewVoiceMedia’s Serial Switchers report. Industry experts say it’s far more.

There is nothing more beneficial to a company and its image than knowing your customers appreciate doing business with you.

I call it ROE – Return on Experience – and it’s worth its weight in gold, revenue, and stock price.

The opposite of course is like a bad divorce played out in the gossip pages. Because today, thanks to smartphones and hashtags those bad experiences quickly jump from social to mainstream media.

And, that has turned ROE into a very fragile and easily breakable business strategy.

The goodwill and brand loyalty that comes from hundreds of millions spent on marketing, cool ads and store promotions can be wiped out as a bad experience and the various interpretations of what happened goes viral.

Companies barely have time to actually get the facts before they’re being inundated with questions from reporters and the broader public.

Gone are the days of pulling the crisis response binder off the shelf.

A bad experience – be it at a coffee shop with a global brand, outraged passengers on a plane or a shopper falsely accused by staff – can create a viral storm and its very own hashtag, particularly if there’s video. And, these days there is always video – and there’s always a hashtag.

A brand that has been carefully shaped, where the customer experience has been nurtured, where loyalty has been built over years, can have its reputation shredded in minutes.

A Google search for “viral bad customer service experiences” generates 158 million results.

Oh! talking of Google. The company has now joined its own list as its Google+ service gets hammered by both users and regulators with its recent crisis

So, with two-thirds of the world’s population with a smart phone, reputation, image, and the billions spent on marketing are all now in the hands of individuals and what they experience and share as they go about their daily lives.

That saying, “the whole world is watching” is truer today than any other time in history,

because five billion phones are doing just that.

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