|Darcy Spencer of NBC Washington covered this story.
Photo credit: NBC Washington
“Would you bother owning a telephone if you had no intention of answering it?” That’s the question I asked over the weekend to Dominion Power (Twitter: @DomVApower). The social phone was ringing but Dominion wasn’t answering.
|Photo credit: NBC Washington|
This anecdote goes to show why traditional communication systems are a poor substitute for social media – real time communication to borrow a phrase from David Meerman Scott’s mantra (and a book you should read). While social media may seem like a haven for critics in a time of crisis, it’s also where social media can be at its finest hour.
|Photo credit: iPhone 4|
All said, I’m not a fan of “flame” posts, I don’t believe in doing them, as I usually find them obnoxious, self-serving, and I can empathize with a like-minded person surely sitting on the opposite side of a post like this. However, this event literally struck home and is reflective of some very interesting conversations I’ve had – prior to this event – this month. I took a day to cool off before writing this post and I’ve tried to be constructive in my comments, but would welcome your thoughts:
Thanks Farida. To their credit, someone did reach out to me for a chat, so if this is a sincere effort or lip service, remains to be seen. I'm open minded. Appreciate the comment!
Great post, Frank. You're right - there was definitely a missed opportunity there for Dominion to reach out and engage. Sure, they would have had to face the wrath of customers but at least giving constant updates and answering questions on the situation would have helped reassure people and make them feel less frustrated. Surely, Dominion's customers deserved at least that much for having to go without heat, light and hot water on Thanksgiving weekend.
I think you are right Krista as the mantra goes, every challenge sows the seeds of opportunity. This will definitely become more and more relevant -- just think about how much less we use the actual phone part of our mobile devices these days. Today it's all Tweets, status updates, check-ins and various sources of information available digitally.
Wow, sorry to hear about the damper on your Thanksgiving! At least you can make a teachable moment out of it. This is a great case for use of social media for better customer service, especially in a crisis situation. With so many consumers already engaged online, it's even more relevant for companies to participate and foster better customer relations via the social web.