Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Social Media Customer Service Blunders

Well, once again I am confounded by the lack of customer service we get from the almighty Facebook site.

Once upon a time I was enthralled with social media as a great way to have two-way communication with my customers and my clients' customers. Now I am thoroughly disgusted with some social sites, simply because they seem not to care about the customers (YES, CUSTOMERS) who use them.

There is no way to contact Facebook, other than through the site's help section, which doesn't seem to help with most of the problems we experience when trying to post or advertise for our clients. The latest problem has to do with a promotion that Facebook set up for small businesses called "Small Business Boost." We were emailed that one of our client pages had qualified for $50 in free advertising. When we tried to take advantage of the offer, we had problems registering the client page. There was nothing on the help pages that helped, and when we said that the stuff didn't help, there was no way to tell them why it hadn't helped... just "OK. We're sorry."

We finally moved through the problems and posted an ad for our client today, but there was no place to log that the advertising was to take advantage of the free offer for "Small Business Boost", just an email telling us that our credit card would be charged for the advertising. Here's the notification we got from Facebook:

Hi Patricia Y. Hartman,

Thanks for creating a Facebook Ad or Sponsored Story! Your confirmation is below. Please note that you will only be charged for the impressions or clicks your ad receives. The total charge will not exceed the daily campaign budget you have set. Remember to create multiple versions of your Facebook Ads. Successful advertisers recommend starting off with 5 to 10 versions of your ads to test which combinations of images and text are most effective. If you have any questions about your Facebook Ads or Sponsored Stories, please visit our Help Center.

You will be sent an email receipt for any charges from Facebook, and the information about the charge is also available in the billing tab of your Ads Manager.

The Facebook Ads Team

Notice there is no mention of the "free" advertising promotion. Also notice that there is no way to get hold of these people via email or phone to complain! And there is also no way to cancel the advertising. At least when we deal with the traditional media, we can pick up the phone and talk to our account executive. Not so with social media.

I've read rants on Facebook about the new "timeline" format. Have the techies at the social site listened to the rants from their users? Obviously not. We're getting it whether we want it or not.

Mark Zuckerberg and his minions need to go back to school to learn a few lessons in customer service. After all, the users of Facebook and advertisers on are Facebook's customers.