We get to meet a lot of great business people, and one of them is Keith Timimi, a Singapore entrepreneur, the founder of Qais Consulting and part of the EconomyWatch.com team, and so we sat down this week and discussed various things, but a couple caught my attention. Here are my conclusions of Keith’s unique perspective on building a successful business, with social media, a core part of any effective communication strategy.
Businesses today are living in fear of social media. There is a tremendous fear of failure, and that is leading to inaction. What many business leaders don’t realise is that inaction is also a choice, and those companies not embracing social media are getting hammered.
There are a lot of companies we could talk about, but let’s take Singapore Airlines (SIA) as an example – a company close to Keith’s heart. This is the airline that established itself as the best in the world at customer service and the first to embrace new technologies. For example, SIA were the first to put individual TV screens for every seat in economy class and the first to order the A380.
Yet where are they with social media – nowhere. What had been SIA’s unrelenting focus to deliver the best customer service seems to be gone, and they risk being left behind, as well as being put in the “dowdy, un-funky” category. Not the SIA of yore.
SIA recently launched its new Website and it has been an unmitigated disaster. The Website looks “better” but the functionality is a debacle. Due to these issues, the SIA call centres have been swamped and because customers are unable to get through, where do they go?
They go social. The only problem is, the SIA Facebook Page is not “owned” by SIA, it is owned by fans who set up the page and has over 97,000 members.
As such, there is no senior SIA spokesperson, and what was a fan page has become a place for people to vent. The problem is no one is responding to or addressing their concerns. You have to check out the complaints…
So the SIA Facebook page is now a place for disgruntled customers, and because SIA don’t have a policy for dealing with these situations, they are getting pulled to pieces.
Take a look at some of the comments on the Facebook Page yesterday – Thursday 16th June 2011:
Keith is a bit baffled that SIA launched the new Website in the first place – “didn’t they test it before taking it to market? Is customer satisfaction, usability and customer support online so unimportant?”
And apparently he is not the only one, as thousands of fans have been asking the same question.
Read the FULL STORY: Go Social – Or Die
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