Social Media has tilted the balance of power forever. Where Corporations could once simply ignore consumer complaints, that is much more risky now that we can spread our views virally – especially if the injured party has musical and video capabilities.
Thanks to a comment left by Glenn Friesen, I visited his Twitter account, found him very interesting, checked out his latest Tweet and found this exceptional example of how consumers can now get their voices heard.
The MyCustomer Customer Relationship Management Blog shared the music video of the song United Breaks Guitars written by musician Dave Carroll because his valid customer complaints were not taken seriously.
The video below went viral on YouTube. It has already been viewed over
915,548,706 times (that’s 1.55 BILLION Views as of 1/28/16) and according to the MyCustomer story caused a $180 MILLION 10% drop in United Airlines stock value.
What should have been an easily handled complaint turned into a Brand Nightmare for United Airlines – all because they ignored their responsibility to make good on intentional carelessness of their employees witnessed by the public.
Their attitude is what caused Dave to go to such lengths to expose their “complete indifference”. In his blog he wrote:
“This stopped being about compensation when the airline flatly refused to consider the matter and once the first video was released the rest I committed to telling the rest of the story which is why I refused United’s attempt at compensation when it came 7 months after my “threat” to do the videos.”
THE REST OF THE STORY
The video might have been the end of it, but the positive response from the public was so large that Dave expanded his commitment and made three music videos and ended up with a large online following on YouTube and Twitter.
Harvard Business Review Case: United Breaks Guitars: “Within one week it [the first video] received 3 million views and mainstream news coverage followed, with CNN, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, the CBS Morning Show, and many other print and electronic outlets picking up on the story.”
That is NOT the end of the story though. Dave started Right Side of Right to enable consumers to “more effectively share stories and seek out possible solutions” and for “finding ways for us to work with companies that truly want to deliver better experiences for their customers and who are striving to be on the “Right Side of Right“.”
In their blog there are examples of both bad customer service and companies doing the right thing, such as Air Cananda wheelchair incident where the airline took responsibility, found a 24 hour repair shop and then offered to fulfill a dream held by the injured party to make up for the trouble.
Dave is working to create a better world by offering tips for how to constructively respond when you are on the receiving end of bad customer service. When you are frustrated with indifferent companies, follow Dave’s advice: Don’t get mad – get creative!
Special mention to Taylor Guitars for recognizing the wisdom in making right what United Airlines would not: they gave Dave not one but TWO Taylor guitars – and thanks to Dave’s videos received a huge increase in visibility. They don’t appear t o have a blog but they are on Twitter.
Like Dave’s music? Want to support Right Side of Right? Click on the image below to listen to more of Dave’s music.
Dave Carroll/Perfect Blue Highlights to date
* 2 Nominations: Pop Recording and Male Solo Recording of the Year: East Coast Music Awards (ECMA)
* Winner: Inspirational Recording of the Year 2008 NS Music Awards
* Nominated “Contemporary Singer of the Year” Canadian Folk Music Awards
* Nominated “Best Male Vocal” Hollywood Music Awards
* Nominated Best Canadian Artist (outside Ontario): Ontario Independent Music Awards
* Finalist in John Lennon Songwriting Competition, Unisong International Songwriting Contest, UK Songwriting, Independent
Singer Songwriter Awards
* Sailors Story Full Album Download (MP3) $9.99
* The Neighbourhood Full Album Download (MP3) $9.99
* Among The Living Full Album Download (MP3) $9.99
* Perfect Blue Deluxe Edition – Physical CD $16.99
* Perfect Blue Full Album Download (MP3) $9.99