I don't know if you remember or not but I wrote a blog post a few months ago about my Love/Hate relationship with Twitter. I talked about how I love that Twitter has opened communication between so many people, but on the reverse how it is a little bit of information overload for me. I talked about how as a customer you can go on Twitter and blast a company or product and that I did that exact thing. This week I'm going to expand on that experience and subject. I believe that monitoring social media is very important even if you don't participate because you want to know what/how people are talking about you and/or company. If you are a company that has implemented a social media strategy and you have dedicated people to monitoring conversations, empowering your team to solve customers problems via social media is a good idea.
I had (and am still having) a poor experience with a company and its social media team immediately contacted me to apologize and say that if I had any questions or needed any help to let them know. So, I did and they have been very generous in "trying" to help me but they can't. I know they want too but the corporation they work for has not given them any authority to make any decisions or even point me in the right direction. So, what's the point then? If you spend money on having a team monitor social media but then you don't actually let them do anything to solve people's problems, one could argue that the company is just wasting money by essentially not doing anything. You might as well not have any social media strategy at all. Is it better to monitor social media and just tell people sorry or not do anything at all?
I think that consumers would be more aggravated if you apologize and then do nothing to solve the problem. Isn't that just patronizing me is some sense? Because you recognize there is a problem but then don't do anything about it. In my situation, I don't blame the social media crew whose intentions are good in trying to satisfy me, but the "corporate monster" who won't let them do anything about it. Generally, I find this is an issue with large Fortune 500 corporations because small to mid-size business are very active in their social media policies and understand that empowering employees as an HR practice gives them an edge over their competition makes them faster and more efficient to solve problems. Don't get me wrong there are many companies out there that are doing it right and using social media as a way to monitor and fix problems and I may be the one person in the world that has come across this issue. What are your thoughts on empowering your employees to solve problems of customers via social media?