As I wrote last December, social media can provide a valuable customer service function when call centers or stores do not meet their obligations of service. A simple, clearly stated complaint can get a consumer a quick response from a retailer and a resolution of the issue. But for all the time spent dealing with legitimate issues, are retailers also, as a portion of an Advertising Age headline reads, "Wasting Time on Idiots Like Me?"
The author of the article, Simon Dumenco, the "Media Guy" at Ad Age, includes a reference of a silly exchange he had via Twitter with IHOP, the "Pancake Guys" of America. (Editor's note: Definitely worth reading for a quick half-smile if not an outright giggle.) In the end, however, the exchange led Mr. Dumenco to wonder just how "responsive" brands needed to be to consumers via social media.
He singled out Twitter, which makes it easy for individuals to send out "a bitchy tweet" in seconds. Of the relatively few consumers who choose to connect with brands via Twitter and social media, many are "cranks" or just looking to stir up trouble. What's the point of tweeting back?
What's the value of engaging with "cranks and mischief-makers" via social media?