Get it right, or the public will make you regret it
See this video called United breaks guitars written after United Airlines customer service was less than helpful, or the ex employee who started a site called Asdasucks (no longer live) about his grievances with Asda (more information here). Think this can’t happen in the public sector – well have a look at NCCLols about Nottingham City Council (although it does occasionally mentioned the police as well) or the WatchingLCC blog (still there, although much of the content has since been removed). There will be plenty more out there, and whilst not all will get the coverage of United Breaks Guitars, most will have relatively high viewing levels.
For a more positive model seeclickfix is a site where people can not only report problems but fix them themselves. From their site“There are an amazing amount of people and organizations who are paid to attend to the issues you face. And many more that organize themselves on a volunteer-basis to address issues in the community. When they are notified of a specific issue that falls within their responsibility , they often are pleased to be able to address it…You can fix the issue in the real world or organize someone else who can.”
My advice to organisations that still think they can continue on as they always have, centrally controlling the media message and relying on traditional ways to complain is to wake up and smell the coffee. People will take your data, add their own content to it, and make it theirs in ways that organisations have no control over. After all, recording a phone call, videoing a customer service desk dealing with a complaint, or copying a letter and sending it instantly round the world is literally child’s play these days. In policing a few forces are actively seeking feedback from the public online – West Midlands with http://www.rateyourlocalpolice.co.uk/ and Tayside with www.mypolice.org. Shouldn’t the rest of us be doing something similar?