how to ruin your practice’s reputation in 4 days on YouTube

If you haven’t seen this attack video yet, you will soon. In fact, you may want to show it to your entire staff as a warning of what can go wrong if you don’t treat customers with respect.  The implication is obvious; disgruntled patients and dispensary customers can use social media to viciously attack your practice.  It makes sense then to be sure that your policies are patient-friendly and that your staff is seeing to it that every patient is completely satisfied.  Heck Dave could have written a song of praise if United had treated him differently.

The latest YouTube viral sensation is a song, called “United Breaks Guitars,” made by musician Dave Carroll. No points for guessing which airline’s service is being satirized and attacked in the video, which was viewed 2.5 million times within five days of being posted. As of posting, it had nearly 6 million views.  I think it is safe to say it will have many more in the coming days.

See it here:

Here’s what happened in this case.

In the spring of 2008, Carroll’s band, Sons of Maxwell, was traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour. Passengers on the United flight with Carroll saw his $3,500 Taylor guitar being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago, severely damaging the guitar.  In the months that followed, United didn’t deny that the guitar had been damaged,  says Carroll. But everyone passed the buck, and refused to compensate him.  After nine months of frustration, Carroll decided to air his complaint to the public, via YouTube.

“I promised the last person to finally say “no” to compensation  that I would write and produce three songs about my experience with United Airlines and make videos for each to be viewed online by anyone in the world. United: Song 1 is the first of those songs. United: Song 2 has been written and video production is underway. United: Song 3 is coming. I promise,” he said.

Carroll’s tactic worked. United quickly offered damages, apologized, and promised to use Carroll’s video in training sessions for its reps. Despite United’s apology, and offer of compensation (which Carroll wants United to donate to charity), Carroll is pushing ahead with plans for the next two videos.  Next time, United may apologize sooner rather than later.

Update: Now the Huffington Post reports that this video has cost United 10% of its market share. Ouch.

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About Arthur De Gennaro

My friends call me Art. Welcome to my blog. In this space you’ll find information and comments on the ophthalmology world, the optical industry, the hearing industry and medical practice management. My intent is to provide information you can use to improve your business and your own performance. Please visit often and feel free to join the discussions by leaving comments.

You can learn more about me and my consulting company, Arthur De Gennaro & Associates, LLC by visiting my web site www.adegennaro.com

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November 2009

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