Vodafone Australia felt the Return of Ignorance

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5 reasons social media is a waste of marketing dollars is one of the headlines at iMediaConnection. ‘Here we go again’, was my first reaction but do read the article. There’s nothing wrong with a critical view on (the ROI of) social media. But… accept the consequences if you stop listening to your customers (through social media).

Vodafone Australia felt the ROI of Social media, but it was the Return of Ignorance…The past few months have been very painful for Vodafone Australia. Nation’s third biggest telecommunications carrier was in the center of a storm of negative publicity due to chronic network problems and customer service failures. Just take a look at this parody.

And if that wasn’t enough; The CHOICE magazine Consumer Champion Award was won by the anti-Vodafone website Vodafail.com who collected more than 15k of complaints about Vodafone Australia, forcing Vodafone to apologize and to promise to take steps to address the network issues and increase the number of customer service staff. Here’s Nigels message to all customers.

Chief Executive Officer Nigel Dews concluded in this article:

(..) We stopped listening to our customers. We realised that we weren’t listening to our customers enough, particularly our customers in social media, so we weren’t picking up the early warning signs. By then, it was almost too late. Fed up, tens of thousands of subscribers have simply walked away.

So I don’t think investing some marketing dollars in a social media listening center would be a waste of money if you take a look at this case. Even if you don’t increase your sales. Listening to your customer can never be a waste!