Have you ever tweeted at a company or commented on its Facebook page and never heard a response back? Ya, me too. So often these companies are too busy to respond to everyone’s questions and comments, yet it still stings to get no response.
As consumers, we all want to feel like our opinions/concerns/questions are important and being heard by the companies that we invest our money in, so when companies that are of the larger scale like British Airways don’t respond it can leave consumers feeling upset and unimportant.
But what about a company employee responding to you? Is that kind of response more valuable than a response straight from the company’s account? David Weinberger, co-author of best-selling book The Cluetrain Manifesto, would say…probably if done correctly.
As companies expand in popularity its humanity can often fade with more comments on social media than time to respond, yet we always expect a response back. While I have yet to experience a company employee directly responding to a comment I made, I see some pros and cons to that kind of communication.
- If the employee responding holds an authoritative position within the company that relates to your question/comment, then its more likely to be received as credible to the consumer.
- It can be received as a more personal and humanized when its coming from an individual.
- It illustrates how the company cares about your thoughts and wants to personally diretly address the consumers.
- The viewer could be upset that the company’s page wouldn’t personally address their comment.
- The employee could not say the right thing and cause a problem, or worsen a preexisting issue that the consumer could have with the company.
- If the employee is not an authoritative source it could discredit any response they give the consumer.
Whether the response is coming from the company page or an employee, I believe that companies should always try to respond to consumer questions or comments. If the consumer’s complaint is bad enough it could generate negative backlash and make it appear that the company doesn’t care. Just because a company expands in popularity, doesn’t mean it should forget its consumers and having employees personally respond gives the company a human value.
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