Learning from Fandango’s poor social customer service
This past weekend Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 2 opened to $168.6 million, and the Fandango site went down. Throughout most of Saturday, potential Fandango customers (including myself) were unable to purchase movie tickets through the site. Given that Fandango’s main purpose is to sell movie tickets, one would imagine they would have their web development team working hard to fix the site issues.
Customers took to Facebook and Twitter to vent their frustration to the world (and to Fandango). Here are just a few of the postings:
So many upset customers, and yet no response from a Fandango rep to any of these messages.
I recently wrote a post arguing that most companies do not need a social media representative who works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. However, I probably should have mentioned it can be a huge PR nightmare if you don’t respond to an emergency right away. While this isn’t a life-or-death emergency situation in any way, it should be considered an emergency to Fandango. They are unable to sell their product and their customers are very upset. Not just one customer, but many customers, who complained all through out the day.
From a social media perspective, this could have been a huge opportunity for Fandango to show it’s human side… and more importantly to show how much it values its customers. It should have had a social rep available to answer questions and keep frustrated customers updated. Fandango’s official Twitter account says “Rachel here” — but where is here? Saying that Rachel is behind the Twitter account is a great way to humanize the brand, unfortunately it only works if Rachel is actually there when it counts.
Even worse is that Fandango’s customer service line was providing a similar level of help for frustrated customers:
As I’ve said multiple times in the past, great customer service has to be part of a company’s culture.
Every single line of customer service should be properly staffed and maintained. For many companies this will involve simply having representatives available during normal business hours. However, in times of a crisis (aka customers not being able to make a purchase), all customer service avenues should be manned and responding as fast as possible.
I didn’t write this post to express my personal frustration with Fandango, but rather as an example we can all learn from. Great customer service should always be the number one priority for every company. And, while frustrated customers who call your phone line may later vent to close friends, your social customers will vent to the whole world.
What would you tell Fandango to do to improve their social customer service? Leave a comment below!