Recently (December 19th, 2011) a YouTuber posted a video of a FedEx practically shot putting the delivery of a new computer monitor to one of FedEx’s customers.
The YouTuber caught the whole delivery on video, and posted on YouTube with the following comments “Here is a video of my monitor being “delivered”. The sad part is that I was home at the time with the front door wide open. All he would have had to do was ring the bell on the gate. Now I have to return my monitor since it is broken”.
As with many unexpected videos that went viral (remember Friday?), this individual posted her video on YouTube which caught the viral bug being viewed over 3.5 million times. See video…
Days later as FedEx caught wind of the video, they went into crisis management to post their own YouTube video addressing the issue. See video…
This is a great example of a brand understanding how to use social media for the right reasons, and how the power of social media, whether from distributed media on Facebook, Twitter or email, can be used as tools across an organization to react and respond to critical events. Its not just about marketing to drive traffic, brand awareness or sales, its communication with their audience. It shows they’re listening and responsive to consumers views and opinions.
Though at what point or critical mass did FedEx determine this was the best way to respond? I don’t think it really matters, as long as Fedex can give the same responsiveness and experience to this YouTuber, and those influenced by it, they’ve done their job. The question is though what strategy, whether consumer services or crisis management will respond to extend support and provide the same level of experiences. For example, there already is a Facebook Group page “I Hate FedEx” with almost 1,000 ‘Likes’. Perhaps still small, but this is where it starts.
But then again, its also a strategic opportunity for FedEx to demonstrate one of their core values to consumers that they feel differentiate themselves from competitors.
The first step in solving any crisis is to identify and respond to it, and respond quickly. FedEx seems to have nailed it here using Social Media for crisis management, and would not be surprised to see them build on this and incorporate this into other areas of their business to really show their core values.
For this to happen just before one of the busiest delivery times of the year (Xmas)….bad timing, or splendid opportunity? Let’s see what happens. What do you think? Comment below.