Price Chopper Learns Social Media Lesson
Social media is new territory for many companies so mistakes
happen. Of course, there are mistakes and then there are mistakes that make
you wonder, "What
A case in point was the response by an employee of Price Chopper
to criticism directed to the company’s Twitter
account by a customer. The shopper
wrote, "Every time I go into a @PriceChopperNY I
realize why they are not @Wegmans. Tonight – bare produce areas."
the Price Chopper employee responded to the unhappy customer and offered an
apology and a pledge to do better, then perhaps the story would have ended
there. Of course, that isn’t what happened.
The Price Chopper associate looked
at the unhappy shopper’s Twitter bio and discovered he was employed by a company
that does business with the chain. In an email to executives at the customer’s
company, it was suggested his negative views of Price Chopper could jeopardize
the working relationship between the two companies.
Hearing of this, Anthony
Rotolo, a friend of the unhappy customer who is also an assistant professor
at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, chose to blog about
the incident. The result was that Price Chopper found itself having to address
its employee’s heavy-handed response.
Heidi Reale, director of consumer insights at Price
Chopper, responded to Prof. Rotolo’s blog.
"This associate (the Price Chopper employee) had no responsibility for,
or permission from, Price Chopper to address customer complaints or the customer’s
employer," Ms. Reale wrote. "This is why we knew nothing about it
when it was tweeted at us today. We are sorry for this unfortunate incident,
and we are working to take the appropriate actions to repair the trust that
has been compromised by this associate."
Discussion Question: What lesson should retail companies that use social
media take away from this incident? How should retailers respond to criticism
on social media sites?
- Syracuse area critic of Price Chopper gets reaction on
Twitter – The
- Price Chopper Supermarket Emails Customer’s Employer, Demands Disciplinary
Action for Negative Tweet – The Consumerist
- The odd story involving Price Chopper, Twitter and a total overreaction to
a negative comment – All Over Albany
- Price Chopper Attacks Customer’s Job Over Negative Tweet – Price