I was struck the other night by a commercial from Esurance where they touted how many customers wrote positive messages on their wall, and/or told their friends about the company. Now, they’re not the only company who does this. Ask me about my Temperpedic is another one. However, they are the only company that I know of to make a big deal how they did not pay their customers.
Okay, I think we all understand that we pay the insurance companies and they happily take our money and pray we don’t have an accident. (We do too, but they see it as a financial gain if they don’t have to do anything for us for that six-month period or however long our policy runs…) However, what I think Esurance fails to understand in boasting about how they don’t do anything nice for their customers who spread the good word is the simple law of customer service.
A happy customer tells only a few people. An unhappy one tells at least 7-10.
So why is it wrong that Esurance doesn’t compensate their customers?
Because in inherently posting those positive comments on Esurance’s Facebook wall as they do in the commercial, that particular happy customer is telling not only everyone in his or her social circle, BUT ALSO telling the thousands of Esurance customers. (A check this morning of their Facebook page shows 16,100+ likes.) That’s going above and beyond the customer duty, which I think is what the company is trying to say. Hey, these people like our company and our service so much they’re shout it from their virtual rooftop. But what Esurance sends back to them by boasting on national tv that they do not pay these people is that we do not reward loyal customers.
You heard that right.
By boasting in their television commercials that they do not pay the people who post positive comments, they are really saying we do nothing to reward our loyal customers.
Think about it. That’s not a good message to send. Now it is good that they do not pay to get positive buzz in social media. We know how icky we all feel when we find out that people can buy twitter followers or facebook fans, and we think that’s a bit morally dubious. So yes, it’s good that they’re not buying praise. But surely they could do something nice for their customers.