Twitter Findings: The best & worst experiences from Black Friday

Posted by Linda Ireland

Dec 3, 2010 12:11:00 PM

Black Friday and Cyber Monday came and went this week.  If you're like me, you either happily joined or couldn't avoid conversations about the best - and worst - experiences from the big shopping weekend. The news was full of cash register tallies of which retailers were up and which were down. But I was wondering if the experiences all the customers were having matched the conversations I was in. What were the best experiences? The worst?

I scanned Twitter to take a pulse on experiences last weekend. This isn't meant to be a scientific study; I won't be using any comprehensive tools or metrics. It's simply a quick look at what had customers buzzing: good, bad, and ugly.

Black Friday is traditionally the biggest shopping day of the year. It's called "black" because it's the day retailers' financial statements of move red (UNprofitability) to black. For shoppers (and store employees) it can be crazy, fun, and exhausting.

Before I even tell you who was naughty or nice, I thought I'd share two interesting points I discovered.

First, it seems people on Twitter don't use the words "customer experience" very much. When I searched for "Best Customer Experience," Twitter only returned one page of results (with 50 results per page). When I searched for "Best Customer Service," the searched yielded five pages of results.

Also interesting? Worst Customer Service brought up only three pages. Perhaps it's a collectively generous holiday spirit, but this seems to (at least circumstantially) disprove that old adage about customers being much more likely to share bad experiences than good experiences. Hmm!

So what did I find?

Since my focus here was Black Friday and the extended weekend, I focused on brick and mortar shopping experiences. This means I filtered through a lot of people complaining about their banks, cell phone service providers, and their cable companies (all interesting topics for a future installment of this Twitter Findings exercise).

Best Buy received the majority of the anger and the accolades in my scan. This isn't surprising because it's a big, nationwide brand known for great Black Friday deals. Customer tweets seemed evenly split - for every negative tweet, there was a positive one right behind it.

About half the tweets contained some level of context for the customer's happiness or displeasure. For example:

Also found on my scan and worth checking out: take a look at Scheel's twitter page. It's nice to see a company that, "owes its consistent success to its empowered associates, managers and partners who think and make decisions for their individual store and the entire company" living up to what they say.

A tangent: Not related to the Black Friday + weekend but found on my scan, these tweets made me smile. As you know, the person having an experience isn't always a "customer." Sometimes it's a patient, an employee, a coworker, a patron, or a tax payer.

These tweets are proof positive that every experience starts with a person who has a need, desire or problem they would trade something of value (money, time, trust) to have solved. Whether or not - and how well - those needs are solved is everyone's measure of a successful experience:

What do you think about this Twittersphere pulse on Black Friday customer experiences?

Topics: Customer Experience

    
   

Subscribe to Email Updates