How To Damage Your Brand. Just Say ‘It’s Not My Job’

‘Nope – I can’t help you with that, it’s not my job.’ How often have you heard that? I don’t even care that it might be true – ‘it’s not my job’ is a crappy and unhelfpul way to deflect an enquiry. It sucks when it happens between one employee and another and it goes off the scale when you are the customer. Too many brands think it’s an imperative to be social when it comes to broadcasting their message, and are apparently less keen when it comes to delivering service. Let me give you a current example:

At the beginning of this week I heard from Lisa-Mari about some problems she is experiencing with Sony, and specifically, a laptop that won’t stop misbehaving. Lisa Mari has tried to deal directly with Sony but after a series of blunders and failed promises, she contacted them via Facebook and Twitter. Here’s how the story starts on Facebook:

A very understanding opening from Lisa-Mari. She apologises for contacting Sony publicly and even says please when she asks for help. Then we move to:

As I type – there’s been no further follow up from Sony, despite a small bunch of people chivying them along on Twitter too. If your brand is online, then your job is customer services, end of story. And if you don’t get that I suggest you turn out the social lights, go home and let a more responsive company deal with your ex customers.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

4 thoughts on “How To Damage Your Brand. Just Say ‘It’s Not My Job’”

  1. Whilst I concur with the sentiment that we all have the power to build (or damage) our brands, I believe that this particular issue runs deeper. As frustrating as ‘it’s not my job’ is, sometimes it is a genuine constraint rather than a lack of willing. Many companies are set up with particular departments that handle different aspects of a business – and this seems to be the case here. By her own admission, Lisa-Mari states that she knows this is not a customer service page, but she is contacting a ‘public’ page to try and get to the bottom of her query. While people may be quick to attack the Sony Facebook page for not helping this customer with her query, the simple fact is that the person managing the account may not be able to. The page manager would need to refer this to the relevant team, which it appears they have done. Yes, this is frustrating. And yes, a company’s social media profiles are often considered de facto places for customer service and complaint – but before we look to criticise Sony’s Facebook management team, perhaps we should look instead at the internal structures of companies – if more companies empowered their social media management teams to act as customer service representatives, then more customers could be helped in these channels. But unless companies actively empower their social media teams to deal with these sorts of queries, examples like this will keep cropping up. It goes back to the whole debate about social media being managed by marketing folk or customer service teams – where’s the boundaries and where can we join these functions up?

    1. Thanks Callum, for sure there is a deeper issue here than no/lack of response. Indeed after reading Lisa-Mari’s stuff on Facebook it seems Sony are quite happy to ignore her on and off line, so at least you could say their social channel is consistent with their internal practice?

      Seriously though – there’s something wrong with a culture, a system that doesn’t see these public touch points as a chance to turn frustration into delight. I’m not interested in blaming anyone in particular – I just want to see the situation responded to promptly and dealt with. You are right – the front line has to be empowered to act else what’s its point?

    1. That will do nicely – thanks Peter. Sony seem to be trying a little harder so far as I can make out – watch this space.

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