CW Fong & Associates is a management and training consultancy that does all things digital for Singapore Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).
Monday, February 20, 2017
Crisis Communications: Scoot's Customer Service Social Media Mistake
Scoot's 'funny' response to passenger's complaint falls short, draws ire of netizens.
In what is a classic case of a customer service social media faux pas, a light-hearted attempt to address a customer's complaint has back-fired.
A customer, named Candy, had posted a photo of her actual in-flight meal alongside the menu, which shows a much more appetizing image of the food. Candy lamented that the actual meal looked nothing like the photo, and that she had paid $18 for it.
Instead of addressing the customer's complaint, Scoot responded by saying, "Hi Candy, we're sorry that our food in person looks nothing like it did in picture. You know what they say.... #Selfies always look better." This response, however, did nothing to ease the situation, and actually made things worse. The response annoyed most netizens, who said that the attempt at humour fell flat. They also added that the complaint itself was not properly addressed in the response.
One of the cardinal rules in dealing with an unhappy customer is to acknowledge their anger. Minimizing it will only fuel further their anger and make matters worse. We are pretty certain that none of Scoot's employees would have said anything similar if they were facing Candy face to face. We are therefore surprised that would not do so online.
At CW Fong & Associates, we teach our clients that the rules of customer service (and in this case service recovery) do not change just because the complaint happens on social media. On the contrary, the amplification of social media makes it all the more important that a customer's complaint is addressed promptly and correctly.
In short, when dealing with an online service complaint, do what you would do if you are facing the complaint in person.