You looking at me?! How Barwood Taxi shows the meaning of Social Marketing…

July 8, 2011

I had a negative experience with a taxi service and blogged about it.002

Nothing so unique there…at least anymore.

But, it’s exactly those types of customer expressions which many companies fear: “What if they say something negative about us?”

The point, as you know, is that people are now empowered to do exactly that and since your organization, like mine, is made of people who make mistakes…well, there’s plenty of fodder for people to vent their frustrations.

Which is why Viktor Frankl is one of your brand managers.

“No matter how bad the situation is, you can always control how you respond to it.”

And HOW you respond is a social marketing moment.

It’s a chance to show that you CARE.

Now, let’s look at what Barwood Taxi did.

And I have to say, I’m impressed.001

First off, they are using social media tools to “listen” for their name. They found my post and called me to express their dismay. That was already solid. They apologized.

Then, OUT OF THE BLUE, I get a letter from the President of the company not only apologizing, but giving me a $50 refund (most of the ride) plus $50 in vouchers. Whoa!

But, wait…there’s more. And here’s where I got super-impressed.

They also included three documents

  • the Complaint Response Process
  • An Open Letter to the Call Services and Sales Center Staff
  • An Open Letter to All Taxi Drivers

And, if you read them, you see that the company is TRULY committed to world-class customer service.

What I love about the way that Barwood handled this is that they  listened, owned up to the problem, made a human gesture to express their regret (though ‘misery’ was a bit much Smile), and showed how they would fix it in the future. They recognize, in the name of Cluetrain Manifesto, that “markets are conversations.”

All of these are truly “social” gestures that, at least for the time being are “Remarkable” touchpoints and have generated some Word-of-Mouth (in the form of this blog post).

That’s how you do it.

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