O2’s recent network problems naturally infuriated phonaholics who were left in a blind panic and desperate state of perceived isolation when the network went down and up and down. It was obvious the drama and sequence of events would be played out across Twitter. O2 subscribers vented their Roth and frustrations; many breaching the grounds of common decency
Why is it deemed such behaviour is acceptable on a public platform? Such rants in the middle of the street could see the perpetrator charged with a public order offence. If I sent such content via my work email, I’d be fired – but hey, that’s the nature of the beast I guess.
Anyway, for this post that’s neither here nor there. What I have observed over the past 24 hours is O2’s measured and ‘human’ Twitter response to such abuse. This has created other streams deflecting attention away from the original subject. This shows an organisation that is in touch with its social-self and one that is reasonably well-equipped to deal with a reputation crisis over social-media. If we compare O2’s response to Blackberry RiM’s after it suffered a similar fate, it shows O2 is leaps ahead. It also helps to get the message across to large organisations that they need to invest in proper resources, training and procedures to deal quickly and adequately in such scenarios. Despite the still many news-worthy corporate social-media faux pas, there’s still a sense of denial from many executive management teams that they need to get serious about social-media. If you upset your customers they are going to tell you and tell you in the most public of forums.
As disruptive as a network outage is for people and businesses that genuinely rely on their phones, here’s a small nod of respect to the O2 social comms team, who have dealt with adversity in quite a good way.