Social media is negative

Have you ever tried getting someone’s opinion when you have them on the phone or are talking face-to-face with them? Most of the time they will not be 100% honest. By nature, most people do not want to create waves so they tend to respond in a way that may not be completely honest. I know I am guilty. Take for example the following exchange I recently had. I’m guessing you’ve had these too.

Friend: “How did you like the condo I recommended in Maui? Wasn’t it great?”

Me: “Yeah, it was nice.”

Friend: “We just loved it. Its so cute.”

Me: “Yeah, it was really nice.”

Friend: “I mean the furniture was a little outdated, but the place was nice. Didn’t you just love it?”

Me: “Yeah, we had a good time.”

The fact is, I hated the place but I just didn’t have the heart to tell the person that recommended it to me. The same can happen with your clients. Account Mangers develop relationships with individuals and those individuals are probably not always honest with the Account Manager due to the relationship and not wanting to cause friction.

In steps social media. For whatever reason, people are more honest when they are not directly speaking with another human being. Blogs, wikis, forums, online surveys are all great ways to get honest customer input. Phone calls can be made afterwards. The key is to get the customer to provide unfettered input and then react accordingly.

I believe it can be summed up best with a quote that I heard a while back from the CEO of Southwest Airlines. “Negative is the new positive.”

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2 Responses

  1. I think people seem to be more honest on blogs and social media because there isn’t that face-to-face confrontation. An e-mail, though in written form, is still addressed to a particular person. A blog post about a product or a brand, however, tend to be directed at a company as a whole and does not single out a person and seems less confrontational.

    Of course there are blog trolls out there who will rant and launch personal, unfounded attacks. This is an unfortunate reality of social media, but the occasional flaming comment from a troll is a small price to pay for the honest and constructive feedback and information you can’t get anywhere else.

  2. All good points Lisa.

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