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November 2, 2009
Social Media Biting in Ireland, Too
From sea to shining sea, and across the sea to Ireland, social media is becoming the feedback medium of commerce. So says an Irish Times blog, Pricewatch, in a post, "Social sites have real bite."

In addition to recounting the Dave Carroll/United Airlines and Domino's Pizza episodes in the U.S., the Irish paper added one involving O2, a mobile-phone company there. Pricewatch recently asked whether customer service has improved in Ireland during the recession. The responses were mixed, but in passing, one poster was critical of O2.

"I have found most telephone customer-service agents to be several hundred times more polite and helpful than they were a couple of years ago,” she wrote. “Apart from O2 -- they still seem to think the customer is an irritant.”

A few hours later, Rod Coleman, head of 02's customer care unit, posted on the blog: “I was really worried to see your comments about O2 on this blog,” he wrote and asked the unhappy customer to contact him directly so he could find out more about her gripe.

Coleman wrote he is “turning more and more to social media to get the engagement that humanises the Web. This also provides the neutral opinion that we trust. The corporate sin, therefore, is not to mess up from time to time, but not to listen to customers and do something about it when this happens.”

Add the Irish phone company to the social media evidence bank -- no blarney.


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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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