Customer Groups You Shouldn’t Upset (and other customer service observations)

At a September 25, 2012 event by the Triangle American Marketing Association (, speaker/social media guru/author Scott Stratten ( made this observation:
“…and the two groups of people you don’t want to tick off?  Geeks and Moms!…”
Now, as a Star Trek fan and mother of two, I found myself doubling agreeing with Scott’s sentiment. But the context for this (very accurate in my opinion) recommendation?  The quick, and often extremely to-the-point, posts, tweets and updates from geeks and moms in that wide, wide world of social media.  Twitter and Facebook, are the main sources, but don’t discredit Pinterest, Google+, and blogs.  Scott shared examples of where both geeks and moms posted bad customer experiences – to the world – and how the company referenced did (or did not) respond.

In a PapaJohn’s example that Scott shared, a customer was given a racial slur as name on her receipt, so she posted a picture of the slur typed on the receipt and in seconds…thousands of others knew.  But that Saturday didn’t have customer service reps on staff, so PapaJohn’s wasn’t able to respond and the negative incident spread…and spread…and amplified as only the negative information was carried globally via social media channels.

Scott also had an example of a video showing a FedEx employee throwing a package over a fence rather than delivering it safely.  The video, posted by those geeks and moms again, spread to web and media outlets.  But in that case, FedEx quickly posted an apology, in the form of a video with a high ranking executive apologizing. Because of their monitoring of customer posts, and quick reaction, FedEx’s apology video was tied to the video with the thrown package – Scott pointed out how this is an example of a company with customer service that keeps on top of customer social media posts and responds appropriately and quickly.

These stories of social media and customer service also tie into his point of “PR;” that is, “People React” and “People Respond.”

I’m looking forward to reading Scott’s latest book, The Book of Business Awesome. He provided a great session for the Triangle American Marketing Association group PLUS some insights that rang true for our work at Horizon Productions.  Thanks Scott!!

Stories referenced during the presentation:

PapaJohn Receipt in NY

FedEx delivery gone wrong

FedEx apology


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