For a long time, one of my favorite brands was the quirky, urban shoe design brand, Rocket Dog. I’ve been a fan and loyal customer for many years and currently have 5 pairs of their shoes and boots and also buy them for my daughter.
As my favourite brand, I have made an effort to not just follow them on social media, but to also actively participate and engage, however, when closely monitoring some of their recent Facebook competitions I became aware that whilst they were great at generating high levels of engagement, their ability to manage promotions and communicate effectively was sadly lacking. I’ve got some examples outlined below.
First person to respond…
A few months ago there was a post on Facebook that said “Tell us your shoe size and the RD shoes you’d like to win…” I was the first person to respond with a comment, then heard nothing at all. I let it go, and that post has since been deleted from their wall.
Share, Like & Win?
On Tuesday 17th December a post appeared on the Rocket Dog wall at lunch time saying that all afternoon a new winner would be chosen every hour. The first winner was announced around 1pm GMT. By 6pm that day however, no other winners had been announced and no further posts had been made, leaving some of us wondering what was going on. This lead someone to comment on their wall about this asking who else had been chosen. I then also commented asking when we’d know who had won and more than 24 hours later neither of those comments had received a response, and still no further winners had been announced.
At just gone 4pm on Wednesday 18th they finally posted on Facebook, listing the winners from the previous day. Whilst the first winner was posted at 1pm yesterday and a winner ever hour was promised from then on, why did it take them more than 24 hours to post details of the other winners? Why did that post only appear after I had sent several Tweets and an official complaint direct to them via email on that same afternoon?
Don’t Leave Followers in the Dark
Sure, they didn’t actually say when they would announce the winners, but the assumption would be every hour based on the wording of their post as shown above. In some respects you could say they are guilty of nothing more than lack of judgement in not making key information clear, but it just goes to show how important clarity of your communications are are and just how important it is to respond to customers and followers in a timely manner. Rocket Dog have failed to do this, with no kind of explanation and they have not addressed the valid concerns I outlined direct to them by email. That is not good customer service and that certainly doesn’t give me confidence in a brand that is failing to get the basics of customer relationship management right.
Customer Relationship Fail from Rocket Dog
I did finally hear back on Twitter in relation to one of my Tweets around 4.30pm on 18/12/2013. I asked why they’d not announced any further winners yet and asked when they would do so. Their response was curt “We’ve already announced the winners thanks”.
When I looked at their Facebook wall, they had indeed finally announced the winners (remember they had previously said they’d choose a winner every hour on the previous afternoon). This winner announcement however had appeared just 7 minutes before they finally responded to my Tweet I think admitting they had only ‘just’ announced the winners would have been more honest. Shortly afterwards I received another response saying: “We never said we’d announce a winner every hour. We said we’d pick a winner”.
Being Rude to Customers Isn’t Big or Clever
I’ve been managing social media for a vast range of clients for years now, and I would not have responded to a customer that way. My Tweet in response would have said something like “Really sorry for the delay, we’ve been super busy, we’ve just gotten round to it – check now and you’ll see them :)” or how about “Ooops, we didn’t mean we’d announce every hour, just that we’d choose another winner, but we’ve announced them all now :)”
See the difference there? It’s customer service 101 and whoever is handling their social media clearly needs to understand that being rude to customers isn’t clever.
It’s not difficult to be courteous and show empathy and I really do feel saddened that the Rocket Dog social media team have handled this so badly. As a result I have made the decision to no longer support their social media activities and have un-followed them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. I am highly unlikely to shop with them again, because my faith in them as a brand has been damaged, and despite having the opportunity to, they have done nothing to try and restore that faith. As a result they have lost not only a loyal customer but a vocal brand advocate too.
How Not To Loose Customers On Social Media
- Do not promise your followers/customers things that you can not deliver and if you do fail to deliver don’t just hope no one will have noticed
- Be courteous and show empathy – your social media team must understand the basics of customer service
- Stick to the terms of any promotion or competition as you lay them out. If you say you are going to choose a winner every hour, then choose a winner every hour
- Don’t ignore complaints – deal with them or you risk looking unprofessional or worse, like you just don’t care about your customers concerns
- Effective customer relationship management can mean the difference between earning someones loyalty and losing their custom all together
- Managing people’s expectations is key so if you say you are going to do something on a certain day, do it and if you fail to, have the courtesy to provide an explanation
- Don’t publish conflicting messaging