DirecTV, Viacom, and Social Media: Resolving a Crisis
The worst thing that could ever happen to you is not being able to watch your guilty pleasure, “Snooki & JWOWW” or missing your daily fix of “Spongebob,” right? DirecTV customers have recently experienced this dilemma as Viacom channels were removed from their subscriptions including Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central. Although the issue was recently resolved, it was definitely the talk of the town in social media venues. From people updating their statuses complaining that they were missing their favorite weekly television to people wanting more information on the status of regaining their missing channels, social media has taken a big part in minimizing the crisis around the issue.
DirecTV has used their Facebook and Twitter accounts to minimize the miscommunication between the company and its customers, while still being able to remain calm through testy statuses and threats of losing business. DirecTV has successfully managed to answer each customer by educating them on the current issue and does not disregard any response.
During a crisis, companies and PR professionals using social media should understand that communication and education is key when interacting with customers. You do not want your consumers out in the blue, so it is best to address the crisis and give updates on your efforts to eliminate it in order to keep them in the loop. Every day, DirecTV updates their Facebook status about the loss of channels and tells customers that they are doing their best to resolve the issue. They also add links to alternative ways to watch their missed shows. This is what customers want to hear and see. They want to know the actual progress in gaining back channels and what actions are being taken. DirecTV has also responded to individual tweeters mentioning @DirecTV in their tweets by answering their questions and updating on the progress of regaining the channels. They have also provided links in their tweets for alternative viewing of their missed shows.
The best thing to do during a crisis is to not run away from customers, but to address the issue. That is what DirecTV has successfully done. Take a look at their Facebook, follow them on Twitter and see how DirecTV has communicated with their customers this past week. As a result, DirecTV now has full access to their lost channels and happy, informed customers.
Photo courtesy of Ad Age