On Wednesday a customer tweeted the @cineworld account complaining about the price of their tickets and asking them to justify it while also accusing them of deleting his previous tweet.
If you haven’t heard what happened next then you’re in for a shock. Most corporate accounts would send some sort of generic response saying how they were sorry blah blah blah. However Cineworld didn’t, they challenged him on how they might be able to delete his tweet (they can’t) and what sort of justification he was looking for as the ticket price is the ticket price! This then escalated into a full debate between the customer and Cineworld, with the Cineworld account more than holding it’s own and at times pushing the boundaries (but never going to far for me).
The customer clearly wasn’t expecting this and moved to the usual demeaning of the account and accusing them of being a child. You can read the full conversation here and I’d recommend it as it’s pretty funny and very interesting.
Twitter has been pretty active on the topic today, with lots of different opinions. Many of them saying it was wrong. I’ve felt like a Cineworld employee as I’ve been going round defending them. I think this is a great example of how the customer isn’t always right and brands don’t always need to apologise.
We live in a culture where the person who is most offended is the one that is seen as having the moral high ground. It’s almost become the norm that if you’re offended then you’re right. It’s ok to be offended, it’s your opinion…just like it’s my opinion that I’m not offended. Read Ricky Gervais’ tweets on any day and you’ll see examples of people offended by his views expecting him to ‘repent’. (Granted, Gervais plays up to it and looks for trouble!)
A lot of the negative feedback has been that the tone is wrong, but this is coming from people who have no idea what the agreed tone for the twitter account is. Until they have seen what the guidelines are for the person in charge of the account then it’s difficult to know if the tone was wrong. If you look at the O2 account or the Tesco customer service account then you might think the tone is wrong…but they’re clearly aiming for that type of chatty and fun content.
In reality, there’s no right way of conversing on Twitter (however there are wrong ways!) and it’s up to each company/person to create a tone that works for them. The important thing, is that once you make that decision you stick to it. If the next time someone complains, Cineworld send out a generic blank response then that will be the bigger crisis!