Over the last couple of weeks, a number of social media ‘fail’ stories have been flying around the internet. We read and laughed at Mashable’s “18 Social Media Slip-Ups That Will Get You Fired”, it was so hilarious we even posted it to our Facebook wall, but there was one incident that has been seemingly overlooked. It is about a Facebook post by a very upset customer on the wall of a U.S based bridal retail chain: David Bridal’s.
The post, written by Mikki Lawless on July 24th, details how she went to a David’s Bridal shop in Sioux Falls, South Dakota to buy a wedding dress. As she said, “When I first walked in there was a young lady eager to help me. After picking out a few dresses I was taken to the dressing room to try a few of my favorite styles on. Being as my soon to be husband is a tattoo artist I am heavily tattooed on my back. When helping me into one of the dresses the sales woman noticed I was tattooed. After that she said she was needed at the front desk and someone else would be helping me. To my surprise I had got no assistance at all!” Lawless then left the store in tears.
Her Facebook post received over 150,000 likes and 11,000 comments, expressing similar experiences at other shop locations. It also started a wave of thousands of other similar posts on David’s Bridal’s Facebook page complaining about terrible customer service. As the company failed to respond to the complaints, it triggered a discourse encouraging other brides-to-be to shop for dresses elsewhere and encouraged a boycott of this previously popular place to shop for wedding dresses.
The company responded eventually with a post pinned to the top of their page, ensuring it wouldn’t get pushed down by new complaints that they are in the process of an internal review regarding Ms. Lawless case. Surprisingly, there was no public apology to Lawless or any other customers who complained about similar experiences following her initial post. David’s Bridal seemed clueless about its reputation and potential future success for the business is questionable.
Social media disasters like this one could get you out of the game, especially if you are local business; therefore they need to be handled very quickly and carefully. No matter how brilliant your online reputation management strategy is, just one case of bad customer service can ruin it. The essence is to utilise all online channels to enhance your reputation and manage what people associate your business with. In David’s Bridal case, preventing users from posting on their Facebook page would have saved them a lot of trouble.
Have a look at the infographic below. It reveals some interesting stats, showing how your business can benefit or suffer from social media.
Credit To: LiveOps