There are days when the filters between impulse to tweet and actually tweeting stuff take a break and I behave like a self-righteous ass. Today was one of those days. I was at Pick ‘n Pay Norwood where I am practically conditioned to be agitated and found myself in long queues with cranky kids and I started posting photos and tweets about the queues and lousy service. I was annoyed that I was standing in queues which seemed like they just weren’t moving (people were reading books while waiting) so I did what any person with a smartphone, access to a public medium and a sense of entitlement did: I posted two updates complaining about the store and the queues.
Pick ‘n Pay’s long suffering social media people responded almost immediately and didn’t express the tired frustration I must inspire and I received a call from a shift manager at the store (Duncan, I think) about an hour later who even apologised for the queues. If I were him I would be thinking that queues are really not unreasonable at lunchtime on a Saturday and yet he still apologised. By that time I realised that I bore a strong resemblance to the trolls we all try avoid and had deleted my tweets.
Today reminded me that Pick ‘n Pay’s management really are trying to improve service levels in their stores and the social media team is passing feedback along to the branches really quickly. They are also serious about engaging because they even engage whiners like me despite me sounding like an mp3 on repeat (I think the “broken record” analogy will be lost on most people these days). Second big lesson is this little one: just because you can tweet about something that pisses you off, doesn’t mean that you should. Tweeting about every niggle increases the amount of noise and reduces the likelihood that brands will pick up on and do something about the important signals. It’s basically a case of not seeing the signals for the noise.