You probably heard about the recent (and unfortunate) situation that occurred when two Dominos employees posted a video on You Tube that turned viral, negatively impacting the Dominos brand. Or, perhaps you heard about the computer glitch at Amazon that prompted an #amazonfail discussion on Twitter. Remember last year when the Motrin Moms Twitter conversation took down the Motrin web site and three years ago when JetBlue encountered a PR crisis after passengers were stranded onboard for 6+ hours.
These stories and others draw attention to two key communication elements that we must not forget.
1 - People are more connected today than ever and this phenomenon isn't going away any time soon. The voice of one person has potential to reach thousands (and potentially millions). The voice of our customers, partners, and employees is powerful and we must pay attention to it.
2 - We must not wait for a PR nightmare to open the lines of communication between us and our customers. We have to engage our customers in the conversation that is happening today. Whether the conversation is taking place on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or through a survey instrument, our participation is essential.
Photo credit: Matthew FieldNote: This post was originally published in Customer Connection on 4/20/2009.