The tweet you saw above will serve important lessons (or reminders?) for many brands now and in the future.

  1. Know your customers (KYC) – If there’s one thing the Filipino customer will complain about – it’s the quality of connectivity in this country. A single day on any of the telcos’ social pages will tell you – people are complaining, and not everyone of them is getting addressed. As a former social manager for a telco, let me be the first to tell you that this category is an angry people magnet. It’s very stressful and takes a lot of strong minded people to take charge of it.
  2. Know you category/brand – From my 10 plus years in managing social media communities in one form or another, I’ve learned that there are several industries that attract more negative sentiments than others. Telcos rank in my top three (joining airlines and utilities like electricity or water). Someone in the team must have known that this marketing stunt is ill-advised at best, and a sentiment and crisis landmine at worst.
  3. Be kind if you can’t be fair. – Our country is in the midst of a pandemic, political divisiveness is at an all time high, and poverty is still number 1 in our bountiful economic issues. There are millions that are out of work. People who’ve reached out for help continue to be ignored. So it’s understandable that this showmanship of privilege and preferential treatment creates a a perfect storm for angry zombie like customers.

Now here are 5 things that a brand can do:

1. It’s too late now (and that’s why I put this out weeks away from when it was posted), but this stunt of a tweet needs to be taken down, and by the time you read this, I hope it was. It’s insensitive to regular customers who are constantly complaining of bad service/connection and it gives a person who is famous a sense of entitlement. This is by no means the fault of the influencer here, I’m sure she is wonderful and very effective in doing her job. If there’s an example of bad PR, this would be one of them.

2. A strong commitment (with follow-through) to improve customer service and resolution of customer issues.

3. Work with groups to identify communities that are in dire need of valuable connectivity – and donate data (heck, other telcos should get on board this, too!).

4. A commitment (with follow-through) to improve non-marketing and non-comms solutions. An example would be the infrastructure. Now, I know nothing about what telcos are doing to improve our internet connectivity, so I’m not one to elaborate more on this.

5. I know that this is wishful thinking, but an immediate free data promo to all affected current customers will go a long way as a simple apology. I’ll take that free 5GB of data for that 5 days of interrupted service anytime. *wink*

To be fair to the ISP, I don’t think they paid the influencer anything. If current information is correct, they saw her complain about her previous ISP and they installed a new connection for her. This, of course, has gone down pretty bad to current customers who can’t even get a reply for weeks that had a backlog of issues. No questions, just lessons for today. Class dismissed. Hello October!

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