We’ve all had enough and we’re not going to take it anymore.
That’s the impression you get if you spend time on social media channels these days. Customers routinely complain about poor service, and we’ve all learned that you can tag the official company account in hopes that reps might see your comment and respond.
That’s exactly what happened over the weekend, but you might be surprised by the tone of the response. Or maybe you’ll agree it was warranted.
Here’s a little more backstory.
A Twitter user called out Delta Air Lines for canceling some flights and complained about a rebooking. I’ve experienced this myself, and in the moment of frustration, it feels like a crushing blow. You are already stressed and tired, and now you have to change all of your plans.
The original tweet complained about the predicament:
Later, the same user mentioned the customer service rep by name and complained about further delays. The rep then sent a stern response to the passenger:
I had to laugh when I read that, and also when I noticed some of the replies, because I’ve felt the same way. You want to tell someone to calm down and that there will be an answer soon. You remove any filters and just say what you really mean.
The difference is that I don’t have 1.6 million followers like @Delta.
My theory is that the person who runs the social media account likely didn’t mean to tweet this out to the world and was probably in the middle of a direct message conversation. It’s even possible the person was messaging in private with the passenger on the Delta site, and mistakenly tweeted out a reply instead. I’ve had customer service agents “go rogue” on me in a private chat before, suddenly becoming all-too-human and saying what he or she really feels.
Let me pause here for a moment and say, I understand the frustration on both sides. I can see how last minute flight cancellations can be frustrating, and I can also imagine what it is like to deal with uptight customers all day long. I’m not sure if I’d maintain perfect decorum.
It’s a surprising tweet from a major airline, and one that is probably going to lead to some discussion between the social media team and their bosses today. I don’t think it was warranted, at least in public to everyone in the world.
Social media has created an open channel where we can let our frustrations fly without thinking through any of the repercussions. There’s very little gatekeeping on our emotions, and that can lead to some arguments that are not warranted.
Having an open and honest discussion is a good thing, especially if it leads to a better understanding of our viewpoints.
For Delta, it just looks like someone decided to let their human side show through. Best to let those chats occur in private…or not at all.