Companies that continue to avoid having a presence on social media are paying the price.
Low-cost Irish airline RyanAir have fallen victim to angry Facebook users – only their customers don’t realize that no one’s there to listen.
Instead, a fake RyanAir Facebook page has been receiving hundreds of negative comments on its wall, with none of the messages actually going to the company itself. But this doesn’t really make a difference as far as reputation is concerned
RyanAir has chosen not to create Facebook or Twitter accounts to engage with their customers on social networks. Yet as so many companies are beginning to get active on social media, customers now take a social presence as a given, and today would never presume that accounts were fake. RyanAir’s angry passengers have taken to the page to complain about staff, policies, business ethics and customer mistreatment. And when they don’t receive an answer, they think that they’re being ignored, which only fuels the fire. All this comes while the company is under scrutiny for having three low-fuel emergency landings take place on the same day. It’s not looking good for RyanAir.
With so many customers reaching out, there is surely a demand for RyanAir to start delivering social customer service. Customer service may not be at the top of RyanAir’s priority list, but can even budget airline RyanAir really risk ignoring their customers? This technological move to social communication is unlike its predecessors. It takes hold, and whether you get involved or not could shape the future of your reputation.
What lessons can be learned?
All companies need to recognize the growing demand for social customer service. A presence on social media is no longer an option for companies – it’s a necessity. Today, social communication is a given, and customers will find places to take their complaints. And when the company doesn’t answer their customers, it only makes the issues snowball out of control. Businesses can no longer be fooled into thinking they can opt-out by failing to create a Twitter account. This example from RyanAir just shows that keeping quiet is just a choice not to respond.
Do you think the fake Facebook account will affect RyanAir? We’re interested to hear your opinions in the comments below.
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