How Three Large Companies Gave Me The Social Media “Cold Shoulder”

As I marketer and a consumer, I know how vital customer service is especially “social” customer service. companies are using social media to distribute content and to engage their customers. People no longer want to be talked at on Facebook & Twitter, they want to have a conversation. They want the companies to listen to them, no matter how big or small they are.

If you are not “listening” AKA monitoring your customer base through social media, just delete your accounts now because you are failing.

Just recently, I worked on a project for Dancing Deer Baking company out of Boston, Massachusetts. What we strived to accomplish was to build up their social media presence but also form a thriving community. And I am happy to say, mission accomplished.

Their Facebook fans and Twitter followers are enjoying the delicious content and the speedy response to any customer service issues they may have. Dancing Deer is “listening” to their customers not giving them the social media “cold shoulder”.

Unfortunately, other companies have not following in Dancing Deer’s social customer service hoof steps.

Last Fall, I was craving Taco Bell’s Doritos taco. After going through the drive thru, I was stuck with a glass or a taco half full.

Two weeks passed and not a peep from @Tacobell, who currently has over 345K Twitter followers.

Evidently, they are not “listening” and lacking considerably in the social customer service department.
Now Taco Bell is not the only company that left me at the social media station. Skechers shoes is also on my list of giving the social “cold shoulder”.

I bought a pair of Skechers shoes less than two years ago and they were falling apart at the seams. There is no way my toes should be exposed in a pair of shoes less than 24 months old. So I decided to take a picture of my faulty footwear and tweet it to @skechersusa (over 15k followers).

And guess what? All I got was wind blowing through the social media canyons. No response, no apology just silence.

If Skechers just responded and tried to remedy the situation, I may not have bought my replacement shoes from Reebok.

Just another case of a missed opportunity to right a wrong.

Then there is Ticketmaster to complete the social “cold shoulder” tri-fecta.

The company, that is a ticket monopoly which forces convenience charges on their customers, was a major inconvenience to me.

My friend had recently purchased FIVE tickets to the Black Crowes concert at the House of Blues Boston in April. I was extremely excited to go see one of my all time favorite bands with my good friends but then the plug was pulled on me.

My friend received the ticket conifirmation:

You purchased 1 ticket to:
The Black Crowes
House of Blues Boston, Boston, MA
Thu, Apr 11, 2013 07:00 PM

Details: The Black Crowes

Order for: XXXXX
Seat location: section MEZZ
Total Charge: US $ 70.25

To thank you for choosing Live Nation to enjoy your concert experience, we’re sending you a second email with a special code for $5 Concert Cash good toward your next Live Nation club or theater concert ticket purchase. Concert Cash code to be sent within 72hrs after ticket purchase. You didn’t add Event Ticket Insurance to your order, but it may not be too late to protect your purchase! Click here for information regarding adding insurance to your Live Nation Concerts order.

Then three days received a cancellation:

Attention ticket holder,

The total number of tickets you ordered for the below event exceeds the ticket limit as posted online at the time of purchase. This has resulted in all or a portion of your tickets being cancelled.

The Black Crowes
House of Blues Boston
Thursday, April 11th, 2013 at 7:00pm

If you have already received your tickets, please be advised every ticket has a unique barcode and the barcode on the cancelled ticket(s) are now void and will not gain you access into the event.

So I was the odd man out and I was not happy. I tried to buy another ticket but the show was sold out eventhough the site did not indicate this. I then went to the Ticketmaster Facebook page to voice my displeasure:

Ticketmaster, you yet again find ways to disappoint music loving fans. My friend bought 5 tickets for the Black Crowes show on 4/11 in Boston without an issue. Then a month later you email him telling him its a 4 ticket limit. So you cancelled a ticket and that was mine. The show is sold out and now I am out of luck. If you didn’t allow more than 4 tickets to be entered or caught the mistake earlier, I would have bought my own. Now I am missing out on one of my favorite bands and a great night out with friends. Thanks again for screwing up something I was really really looking forward to.

As you can see by my response, I was very emotional about the situation. Music is a passion of mine and I reacted as so. I cannot hide how disappointed I was in the whole failure from Ticketmaster.

Did they respond?

Nope not a peep.

Unfortunately, I cannot give them the same “cold shoulder” as they gave me because they are the one trick pony in a one horse race in the concert ticket industry.

So if you take anything away from my social customer service experiences with Taco Bell, Skechers and Ticketmaster take this:

If you are not going to “listen” to people that purchase your products and services, delete your social accounts now because you are doing more bad than good.

You can follow me at @joegill88 and my social media consulting company @chazzrockprod.