Changing customer perception via social media
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COMPLETE DISCLOSURE: The Sonos system mentioned here was provided to me at no cost. In addition there was no expectation that I would write, talk or post about the experience. This is a customer service win that I chose to share.
Every once in a while there is something that irks me enough I tweet about it. This story involves a three-hour in-store meeting, two 45-minute trips and a crazy tech set up melt down.
Visiting a well known international consumer electronics chain I worked with two different employees to find the perfect sound equipment for my outdoor event. They shared their advice and I, in turn, dropped about $1,500 on equipment for my outdoor charity event. I was assured this was the PERFECT equipment for my event. The store didn’t have all of the parts and sent me to a sister store 45 minutes away to pick up the rest. It didn’t bother me in the least, because I was getting what I needed.
When I went home that evening to do a test tech set up, I was at a loss. The equipment didn’t do what the employees said it would do and it was not recommended for outdoor use.
The sound equipment happened to be a Sonos sound system. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the Sonos equipment, I was sold the equipment for what I needed. Absolutely not the fault of the Sonos brand.
Around 10 p.m. that evening I tweeted that the Sonos equipment was cool in concept, but in no way met the needs I purchased it for.
The next morning I received an email from Thomas Meyer, Senior Manager, Worldwide Public Relations for Sonos. He profusely apologized for my experience, told me to return the equipment and he would SEND ME A COMPLIMENTARY SONOS SYSTEM.
What?!! Someone was listening. Someone heard me. AND they responded.
(I’m not ashamed to say I took him up on his offer.)
Besides the fact I’m now addicted to the Sonos system (it’s even built in to my alarm clock via my iPhone), I love how they turned me into a Sonos brand ambassador. Every time we have guests over they freak out when I run the speaker system from my phone. That is…when they’re not dancing to the great playlists I create.
I recently f0llowed up with Thomas to thank him and grab a quick interview. Here’s what he told me:
ME: “How did you come up with a solution to resolve my issue?”
THOMAS: “As a small brand, it is important for us to monitor and engage with new, existing or prospective customers. We use Twitter and other social media means to make ourselves readily available for anyone considering how to enjoy music wirelessly in your home.
ME: “Did you expect anything in return? Why? Why not?”
THOMAS: The only thing I hoped for was that we had a shot at changing your initial impression of Sonos (which was a negative one). When working with influencers such as yourself, you simply can’t begin any relationship with expectations. My goal was to do whatever it took to make you happy. And then let nature run its course. People tend to be more happy when they have music in their lives.
ME: “How is social media impacting your role at Sonos?”
THOMAS: “The media is no longer my only customer when it comes to my role at Sonos. Social media provides my team with an incredible platform to spread the word about Sonos. Never before have we had an opportunity to answer customer questions/queries in real time like we do with social media. Real time answers, real time feedback – that is what customers want. Engaging with the consumer has been a wonderful experience.” (Sonos on Twitter: @sonos)
ME: “How is social media impacting Sonos as a brand?”
THOMAS: “Social media platforms have had a tremendous amount of impact on our brand. The majority of Sonos customers are very, very happy with their purchase. We are a water cooler brand. Our customers love to tell their friends, family and colleagues about our product. Social media communities have provided our customers with the ultimate megaphone to evangelize about our brand.”
Thank you to Thomas and the Sonos team for believing in your product. My team, my husband and I thank you.
Editor’s Note: In case you’re wondering, the event I purchased the equipment for ended up working out. A very nice local sound company donated outdoor speakers for the event.