In case you didn’t hear about it, a Carnival Cruise ship experienced a water line breakage last week that made the hallways look very similar to a famous James Cameron movie about a sinking ship. A Facebook post from a passenger went viral with this video and the following post:
“Um….FB folks…..this is a rare moment of internet connection ….we are flooding on a cruise, we heard the violins and the silverware all came crashing down. What in the world….say a prayer for us all.”
Carnival’s response to this incident was the perfect example of how to handle social media chaos for your business, and here are the top lessons we took away from the event:
It’s no secret that social media has become one of the top outlets for customer service cases. When your business is in the social spotlight for something negative, whether it’s because of a broken water pipe or your bakery burnt the bottom of some cookies, how you handle the criticism on social media says a lot about the integrity of your business. Carnival not only kept the Facebook posts of the leakage live (and employees even smiled for the camera), but they released a slew of details about the accident in their public statement.
No matter what is negatively said about you through social media, be transparent with your other followers and don’t delete posts from your page (unless the post includes photos against the site’s terms and conditions).
The day after the accident, Carnival offered the following to its affected passengers:
- A full refund for the current cruise
- A 50 percent discount toward their next Carnival cruise
- The opportunity to leave the ship at the next port to return home
Think about that: the pipe had been fixed, the mess was taken care of, and those incentives were presented to these passengers within 24 hours. While you may not be able to offer a half-priced vacation to your customers, you can still respond and handle your followers’ social media posts quickly and resolve them as soon as possible.
Praise Your Followers
In Carnival’s statement, they said the following: “Both our crew and our guests have been amazing during this voyage.” This theme of praising both parties involved in the accident was echoed throughout the statement and their social posts. Carnival probably did this for a few different reasons:
- Increasing the chances for more positive responses from passengers
- Put the perception out there that they were handling this positively, leading to more favorable responses
- Those who were bothered and inconvenienced by the breakage saw the positive responses from other passengers, which encouraged them to change their attitude about the situation
Either way, always praise your social followers for their engagement, and you could see a ripple effect.
We’re thankful this accident didn’t end like that one movie about the sinking ship (do you hear Celine Dion playing in your head?). Carnival certainly handled this accident much smoother than other cruise ship accidents, and now you can utilize these lessons for your social strategy.
To learn more about social strategy, contact GreenMellen today!