Nothing really. But an incident that recently occurred involving a plastic bank tube – or pneumatic carrier, as it’s referred to by pneumatic carrier manufacturers – brings to mind why good customer service at the most basic level really counts and can even avert a PR fiasco.
Recently, as I was trying to put the plastic tube back in its holder after depositing money at a branch of my bank, the tube slipped out of my hand and rolled under my SUV. I tried to open my door to retrieve it, but the holder was in the way. So I told the teller what happened and that I would pull up to try to retrieve it. Then, I heard a loud crunch. I had completely smashed the tube with my tire, and before I could get out to retrieve it, a furious bank security guard chased after me, yelling about my demolishing the tube. I told him that I had already informed the teller about this situation and that she knew I was trying to return it to its holder. I then walked back to the drive-through intercom system, and the teller told me that it wasn’t a problem; they had replacement tubes on hand.
So where’s the PR part of this story? Well, thinking that I was a first-time carrier crushing offender, I posted my story on popular social media channels. Soon my “friends” and “followers” came forward, one even confessing he had been too embarrassed to share his story (involving a pharmacy drive-through carrier) until I posted mine.
And then the questions came about where I bank. Being sensitive to my fellow PR colleagues who often are forced to clean up social media messes, I avoided the “Where was this angry security guard?” inquiries, along with the questions about why the security guard reacted the way he did.
But had I posted the name of the bank, or even created an “I dropped a bank tube at (insert bank name here) and was chewed out by a security guard” Facebook fan page, well, it could have caused a bit of a PR headache. At the same time, the bank’s PR pros, who would ideally catch the chatter while monitoring the social media sites, could quickly respond.
Still, it’s best for employees at every level, especially those dealing directly with consumers, to always remember that one disgruntled customer can impact the views of hundreds and even thousands of social media users within just a few hours.
Everyone is watching these days!