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Areas of interest:

Crisis management & customer service via social media

Steps:

  1. Understanding and first acknowledgement of situation
  2. Pick an individual in authority about the situation (humanize)
  3. Go to communities and networks where customers are at
  4. Monitor sentiment and engage customers (Proactive)
  5. Constant contact with tech team on progress

Process:

What to communicate and where to do it are from steps 1-4 to give an understanding of the management process.


1. Understanding and first acknowledgement of situation

Quick understanding of level of crisis from tech team. Severity of situation to spread of issue and expected length of outage. Based on previously chosen network for customer service, go out with first post of acknowledgement.

Twitter is the best network for quick, informative updates and should be the first to have an acknowledgement message.

Twitter is the best network for quick, informative updates and should be the first to have an acknowledgement message.

Why?

A few options here depending on situation.

  1. Don’t tell anyone and hope no one notices.
  2. Don’t tell anyone right away, and then only tell the people who had their accounts compromised when Pingdom figures out what’s going on (which, right now, it appears wasn’t the vast majority of people).
  3. Tell everyone what’s going on.

    Option #1 will lead to a disaster. (DO NOT USE)
    Option #2 only works if outage is small and does not affect the majority. Suitable for damage control and personalized communication.
    Option #3 is imperative for managing the crisis to maintain trust of customers.

2. Pick an individual in authority about the situation

 Apart from initial tweet from social team, CEO or Head Programmer/Developer to have a personal tweet, informing and acknowledging the situation.

CEO of Buffer kept followers informed about a hack on their platform in 2013.

CEO of Buffer kept followers informed about a hack on their platform in 2013.

Why?

Humanize the situation with an authority leader and shows level of care/management into the situation.

*Strictly no automation of customer interactions and troubleshooting from the first tweet to the resolution of the crisis. Honesty is key to maintaining trust.


3. Choose communities and networks where customers are at

Social: Twitter, Facebook
Communities: Uservoice (My Pingdom), Thwack, Quora, Reddit

Why?

Choose communities that customers are discussing on and ensure the right effort and relevance is given to networks where most users are talking about the issue.


4. Monitor sentiment and engage customers

Monitor sentiment using tools such as Mention, Social Mention, BuzzSumo, Google Alerts.

Example of continual engagement and being informative to everyone, including users not affected.

Example of continual engagement and being informative to everyone, including users not affected.

Why?

Important to track the sentiment using these tools and engage them proactively, joining in the discussion about the issue when suitable and even after resolution. Reassure with regular, meaningful updates across channels.


5. Constant contact with tech team on progress

Keep in constant contact about situation and informed on what updates and responses to give.

Why?

Updated with information internally so that the social team can convey accurate and informative responses.