The Voice Heard Around the World

There seems to be a lot of news lately about people getting fired from their jobs because of stuff they said on social networks. Here’s a video report by CNN today on two folks who used to work at Houston’s restaurant who got fired for ranting about a manager on a private group within MySpace. Then there was last week’s news where two employees of KFC got fired for well, doing things you don’t want done to your food. (the video is no longer available online)

We sometimes forget that the Internet is a powerful tool/vehicle for spreading our voice. If I make one comment online (good or bad), it can be easily and quickly spread to all parts of the world to people I don’t even know.

So what does this mean to me, the customer reference/loyalty professional? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, know what your customers are saying about you. Listen to them and help them solve problems rather than helping them become a problem. As businesses, we’re all online and so are your customers. Be aware of what folks are saying by searching for your company, product, brand online via tools like LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and Google. You can’t know too much about what your customers are saying. And worse case scenario, you stop a mess before it happens. Not only can you use these tools to reactively see what customers are saying about you, but you can use them proactively too. Ask questions and get answers before you make a mistake.

Remember a few months back the big blow up about the new Motrin ad for moms? (here’s the video if you forgot) Who would have thought that it would cause such a backlash? Motrin was aware of its customers (apparently they were a bit late) and they pulled the ad because there was such a forceful backlash to the commercial. (I personally liked it but the only thing I’m a mom to is a 24lb dog that I don’t carry around all day).

If you only get one thing out of this post, get this…know what your customers are saying and do something about it because no voice on the Internet goes unheard.


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