Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Get the basics right first.... my Real Insurance experience continued

I'm not sure how many of you read my rant about Real Insurance a few days ago but I thought I'd update you on an interesting development.

Shock horror: I recieved a response... via my blog!

I find this interesting for a number of reasons;
1. They are reactive.... but only when the threat extends beyond the loss of an individual consumer
2. They responded.... but only in the public sphere (I am still to recieve a response to my three most recent emails but I must admit, my partner did recieve a phone call)
3. I have connections with a number of people who work at Real Insurance's media agency and have a sneaking suspicion that the action has been a result of their prompting

I am really happy that it seems that finally someone has taken an interest in sorting out this drama but it does raise a few questions for me from a communications perspective.

It was only after my ordeal entered the public space that I started to recieve a seminiance of customer service. In fact, I had even emailed customer service on two previous occassions to alert them of the problems I was having and didn't even recieve an automated response let alone a 'human' response.

So where does this leave other people who are insured by Real Insurance but don't have a blog, facebook account, LinkdIn profile or Twitter account by which to express their disdain? And what happens to those people who don't have the right connections in the right places (albeit digital connections) who can bring problems to the attention of those who may rectify them?

I think this is a perfect example of a company geared up with a smart marketing team who are making themselves present in all the right places (perhaps even with a listening strategy in place) but who don't have the established resources to follow up with the promises that their 'social personality' implies.

It is also a good exmaple of where the marketing team should take a step back and consider that the best marketing solution is not always an advertising or media solution. Surely, the social media budget wold have been better spent on employing people who can actually deliver the service they promise?

In this age of authenticity, it is a major oversight that a company would enter the social space without ensuring they can deliver on their promise and in my opinion a greater crime than not joining the conversation in the first place.

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