Friday, February 24, 2012

How Social Media can succeed and fail at the same time

I recently had a less than ideal experience buying tires a couple of weeks ago. I'd gone out to the Mr. Tire website looking for 2 tires for my car. I found a reasonably priced option and called the local Mr. Tire. I'd bought tires there in the past and had a fine experience. I was informed that the shop didn't have the tires, but the manager could go pick them up and have them there the next day (Sunday). I agreed and we set up an appointment for 12:30 on Sunday.
I showed up for the appointment and found out the tires weren't there. He made some excuse about not having the truck the day before and couldn't get out to pick them, the warehouse was closed on Sunday, blah blah blah. Frankly, it didn't really matter why. So, even with the "discount" to compensate me for hassle, I left with two new tires and paying $385, about $100 more than I had planned.
Like any savvy consumer, I decided to go back out on the website and compare the price from my bill to the one on the site. The tire price on the web site was $184 per tire. When I looked at the bill, the list price of the tire was $190 and the "discount" reduced it to $180. Wow, what a generous gesture. It felt like a "Bait and Switch" routine. I'm getting angry just thinking about it.
So I went out and tweeted the following" Had a horrible experience at @MrTireAuto.Won't be going back there again.". I received an empathetic response from them and, after going back and forth for a few days, sent the person an email outlining the whole story. She responded and ended the email with the following" I'm going to pass this on to our Customer Service team for followup with you and the store manager directly." It's been almost two weeks and I've heard nothing from either.
So what's the moral of the story? Make sure you align your social media interactions online with your service and delivery channels off line. This has made an already bad experience even worse. Not only have I tweeted about it, I'm now writing a blog post. When I worked for 1st Mariner Bank, we had a similar experience except we were on the receiving end of a tweet that stated" First Mariner Bank- you're dead to me". (I was the lucky one who had to deal with that!) To see how we handled it much differently, check out this post, First Mariner Bank: A New Shining Star in Social Media PR

1 comment:

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